Connect with us

Foreign Affairs

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

Published

on

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.

Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Foreign Affairs

Robert Wood Johnson on the failed Iran deal

Published

on

Robert Wood Johnson on the failed Iran deal

As ambassador to the United Kingdom, Robert Wood Johnson understands the situation in Iran. He’s acutely aware that sanctions against Iran are the only thing short of military intervention that can prevent them from producing nuclear weapons in the near future. The Iran deal, the alleged hallmark of President Obama’s and Secretary of State Kerry’s legacy, has been clearly demonstrated as an utter failure.

Iran has not backed down. They’ve only placated the world when absolutely necessary with lies on top of lies. The United States is fighting back by pulling out of the deal and laying sanctions on Iran, but they need more to join the fight. Johnson is calling on his host nation to follow suit.

“Far from becoming a more responsible member of the international community, as we had all hoped, Iran grew bolder.”

Source: The Hill

US ambassador urges UK to pull out of Iran nuclear deal

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/401458-us-ambassador-urges-uk-to-pull-out-of-iran-nuclear-deal“It is clear that the danger from Iran did not diminish in the wake of the [2015 Iran] deal,” Johnson wrote. “Far from becoming a more responsible member of the international community, as we had all hoped, Iran grew bolder.”

“It is time to move on from the flawed 2015 deal,” he continued. “We are asking global Britain to use its considerable diplomatic power and influence and join us as we lead a concerted global effort toward a genuinely comprehensive agreement.”

Continue Reading

Economy

Tariffs on Turkey: Bad for the economy but damaging to a dangerous dictator

Published

on

Tariffs on Turkey Bad for the economy but damaging to a dangerous dictator

Say what you will about President Trump’s foreign and economic policies. Whether you support them or not, it’s hard to deny that they’ve made things much more interesting.

The latest move by the President to impose stiff tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum may seem in line with how he’s been treating the national and world economies recently, but more is at stake with this move than previous ones.

There are two factors at play that make this move different from previous tariffs. First, it is not purely economic but is a response to Turkey continuing to hold pastor Andrew Brunson for allegedly supporting the coup attempt of 2016. Second, the tariffs come at a time when Turkey’s currency, the lira, is in free fall.

It was already starting to show signs of failure when leaders from both countries pushed it even further down. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan added more challenges for the lira when he asked his people to convert their foreign currency and gold, a sign of trouble that will likely have the opposite effect.

Erdogan calls on Turks to convert hard currency, gold into lira

https://www.reuters.com/article/turkey-economy-currency-erdogan/erdogan-calls-on-turks-to-convert-hard-currency-gold-into-lira-idUSA4N1TM024Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called on citizens to convert their hard currency and gold into lira, after the local currency tumbled to a record low this week, reflecting investor concern about a widening diplomatic rift with the United States.

Erdogan, in a speech in Ankara, also said Turkey was diverting to the Chinese market to overcome what he said were “subjective evaluations” from ratings agencies. Erdogan has repeatedly railed against credit raters, saying their downgrades of Turkey’s sovereign debt to “junk” status were politically motivated.

Seizing on the free fall, President Trump made matters worse for for the lira with the sanctions:

Trump authorizes doubling of metals tariffs on Turkey

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/10/trump.html“I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!” Trump wrote.

Losses in the the Turkish lira deepened on Trump’s tweet, falling as much as 20 percent vs. the U.S. dollar in Friday trading.

Erdogan is now calling this an economic war with the United States and claims he will not back down. Meanwhile, the Euro and other currencies are also feeling the heat:

Euro tumbles as investors fear bank exposures to Turkey

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-global-forex/euro-whacked-on-turkey-turmoil-as-investors-scramble-for-safety-idUSKBN1KV07M“You’ve had a fairly sharp move lower in the euro and it’s broken through key technical levels as well,” said Richard Franulovich, head of FX strategy at Westpac Banking Corp in New York.

The euro dropped below technical support at $1.15 to $1.1421, down 0.91 percent on the day and the lowest since July 2017. Against the yen, the euro slid 1 percent to 126.79 yen, a two-month low.

Now, the criticism and praise of President Trump’s moves will be debated for days, maybe weeks.

My Take

As I’ve stated on many occasions, I’m not a fan of tariffs. They are misunderstood by most, particularly the President, and no longer yield the results they did in previous centuries. From an economic perspective, I oppose this move.

The bigger picture is how this is being used as a pressure tactic against Turkey. Currently, I like it a lot. That opinion could change based on how things go, but moves like these that apply pressure against a dangerous dictator of the false ally that Turkey has become are welcome. It isn’t just about securing Brunson’s release, though that’s extremely important. Turkey is a rising power on every spectrum that is increasingly turning to Russia and China for help instead of their “friends” in NATO.

The strategic importance of Turkey as a hub that connects Europe, west Asia, and the Middle East cannot be understated. In an ideal situation, Turkey would still be a good ally as they once were. Erdogan has taken advantage of two past U.S. Presidents and seemed poised last year to start taking advantage of President Trump. That doesn’t seem to be happening anymore.

Is this the right way to handle Erdogan? Probably not. Whether it is or not will be revealed in coming weeks. One thing is certain: we’re seeing things being done from the White House that we’ve never seen before and may never see again. It’s troubling, but at least it’s entertaining.

Continue Reading

Foreign Affairs

Yes, Trudeau made a tactical error with Saudi Arabia. And it was the right move.

Published

on

Yes Trudeau made a tactical error with Saudi Arabia And it was the right move

I am no fan of the far-left Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. His worldview is flawed and his actions are based solely on maintaining left-wing power over Canada. Last week, he made a huge tactical error by going after Saudi Arabia for human rights violations using Twitter. It has hurt Canada and achieved nothing.

And I fully support it.

It’s the first and probably last time I knowingly support an action by Trudeau, but it’s an important one.

Here’s the background:

Trudeau made a glaring tactical error that’s getting Canada hammered by Saudi Arabia

https://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Trudeau-made-a-glaring-tactical-error-that-s-13143619.phpOn Friday, Canada’s foreign-affairs Twitter handle urged the “immediate release” from imprisonment of the Saudi women’s-rights activist Samar Badawi and others detained for similar activities in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia issued a blistering response, quickly and sometimes harshly turning its state-run media to bash Canada.

In less than a week, Saudi Arabia then expelled its Canadian ambassador, froze all new investment, canceled all flights to Toronto, pulled thousands of students from Canadian institutions, barred its citizens from getting medical treatment in Canadian hospitals, and reportedly sold off all its Canadian assets.

This oddly Trumpian move was likely done in an attempt to score political points. I won’t give him so much credit as to herald him as brave. However, the way in which this was handled is, in my unpopular opinion, the right way to go.

Saudi Arabia has been one of the worst opponents to human rights for decades. The Kingdom has been protected by America and other nations because of their petroleum influence as well as the vast wealth they throw around the globe. While many have heralded their recent shift away from traditional human rights offenses that have been their hallmark, these moves are far from being adequate.

In other words, this is still a backwards nation that holds way too much sway while getting away with pretty much everything they do.

Critics of Trudeau say his tactical error has hurt Canada. They are right. But it’s a temporary pain that they’ll feel. Critics will also point out that this does nothing to advance the cause of coaxing Saudi Arabia to act more civilized, more modern. On this criticism, I completely disagree.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ambitions that go well beyond ruling the Kingdom. He wants to be a world leader, one that controls the Middle East and influences every nation across the globe. To do this, he will need to be universally revered. That means detractors and critics must be hushed.

If we put aside the notion that Trudeau’s actions were self-serving, we can see some benefit in it. Whether or not other world leaders are willing to do the same or continue to cower in fear to the Crown Prince remains to be seen.

What Trudeau has done is speak out against an oppressive regime in a way that most, including the U.S. President, would never dare to do. Is it a tactical mistake to do so? Of course. Was it the right thing to do? I believe it was.

Continue Reading

NOQ Report Daily

Advertisement

Facebook

Twitter

Advertisement Donate to NOQ Report

Trending

Copyright © 2017 NOQ Report.