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Foreign Affairs

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.

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Foreign Affairs

The United Nations only opposes terrorism if it’s not directed towards Israel

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The United Nations only opposes terrorism if its not directed towards Israel

The hypocrisy and lunacy of the United Nations was made crystal clear today. Despite receiving a majority of votes on a resolution to condemn Hamas for their terrorist and military attacks on Israel, the 2/3 threshold was not met. The resolution will not be adopted.

By doing this, the U.N. has officially accepted terrorism as an acceptable means of dealing with the nation of Israel. Most nations do not agree, but as a governing body they have made their choice. More importantly, we are now aware of which nations support Hamas despite their heinous acts against the Jewish state.

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. laid down the stakes just prior to the vote.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley gave a speech that resonated with enough nations to bring about the simple majority. This is an accomplishment even if the resolution ultimately failed.

My Take

This is a good thing for Israel. One can argue it’s even better than had the resolution passed. United Nations resolutions are about as worthless as a press release. But seeing the United Nations being unwilling as a group to condemn the undisputed terrorist and military activities perpetrated by Hamas against Israel helps take away the governing body’s waning credibility.

We know who is more fair than others towards Israel. The European Union, for example, has been outspoken in their condemnation of many of Israel’s actions. But they voted as a unified block to condemn Hamas. This is a sign of hope that alerts Israel and the United States that the anti-Israel bias at the U.N. isn’t absolute. Some are willing to be at least a little more fair than usual.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. Its nature, stated goals, and actions have proven this beyond a shadow of a doubt. The fact the U.N. will not condemn them after condemning everything Israel does is a clear indicator the organization is corrupt.

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Foreign Affairs

China demands Canada release Huawei executive

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China demands Canada release Huawei executive

BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday demanded Canada release a Huawei Technologies executive who was arrested in a case that adds to technology tensions with Washington and threatens to complicate trade talks.

Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, faces possible extradition to the United States, according to Canadian authorities. The Globe and Mail newspaper, citing law enforcement sources, said she is suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran.

The timing is awkward following the announcement of a U.S.-Chinese cease-fire in a tariff war over Beijing’s technology policy. Meng was detained in Vancouver on Saturday, the day Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping met in Argentina and announced their deal.

Stock markets tumbled on the news, fearing renewed U.S.-Chinese tensions that threaten global economic growth. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.5 percent and the DAX in Germany sank 1.8 percent.

A Chinese government statement said Meng broke no U.S. or Canadian laws and demanded Canada “immediately correct the mistake” and release her.

Beijing asked Washington and Ottawa to explain the reason for Meng’s arrest, said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang. He said arresting her without that violated her human rights.

But the Ministry of Commerce signaled Beijing wants to avoid disrupting progress toward settling a dispute with Washington over technology policy that has led them to raise tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods.

China is confident they can reach a trade deal during the 90 days that Trump agreed to suspend U.S. tariff hikes, said a ministry spokesman, Gao Feng.

Huawei Technologies Ltd., the biggest global supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies, has been the target of deepening U.S. security concerns. Under Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, Washington has pressured European countries and other allies to limit use of its technology.

The United States sees Huawei and smaller Chinese tech suppliers as possible fronts for spying and as commercial competitors. The Trump administration says they benefit from improper subsidies and market barriers.

Trump’s tariff hikes on Chinese imports stemmed from complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. But American officials also worry more broadly that Chinese plans for state-led creation of Chinese champions in robotics, artificial intelligence and other fields might erode U.S. industrial leadership.

“The United States is stepping up containment of China in all respects,” said Zhu Feng, an international relations expert at Nanjing University. He said targeting Huawei, one of its most successful companies, “will trigger anti-U.S. sentiment.”

“The incident could turn out to be a breaking point,” Zhu said.

Last month, New Zealand blocked a mobile phone company from using Huawei equipment, saying it posed a “significant network security risk.” The company was banned in August from working on Australia’s fifth-generation network.

On Wednesday, British phone carrier BT said it was removing Huawei equipment from the core of its mobile phone networks. It said Huawei still is a supplier of other equipment and a “valued innovation partner.”

The Wall Street Journal reported this year U.S. authorities are investigating whether Huawei violated sanctions on Iran. The Chinese government appealed to Washington to avoid any steps that might damage business confidence.

Huawei’s biggest Chinese rival, ZTE Corp., was nearly driven out of business this year when Washington barred it from buying U.S. technology over exports to North Korea and Iran. Trump restored access after ZTE agreed to pay a $1 billion fine, replace its executive team and embed a U.S.-chosen compliance team in the company.

Huawei is regarded as far stronger commercially than ZTE. Based in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, Huawei has the biggest research and development budget of any Chinese company and a vast portfolio of patents, making it less dependent on American suppliers.

Its growing smartphone brand is among the top three global suppliers behind Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. by number of handsets sold.

Meng was changing flights in Canada when she was detained “on behalf of the United States of America” to face unspecified charges in New York, according to a Huawei statement.

“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng,” the statement said.

A U.S. Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

Huawei said it complies with all laws and rules where it operates, including export controls and sanctions of the United Nations, the United States and European Union.

Meng’s arrest also threatened to inflame disagreements over Iran and Trump’s decision to break with other governments and re-impose sanctions over the country’s nuclear development.

Geng, the foreign ministry spokesman, said China objects to unilateral sanctions outside the United Nations. China has said it will continue to do business with Iran despite the possible threat of U.S. penalties.

Meng is a prominent member of China’s business world as deputy chairman of Huawei’s board and the daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese military engineer.

Despite that, her arrest is unlikely to derail trade talks, said Willy Lam, a politics specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“I think too much is at stake for Xi Jinping. He desperately wants a settlement,” said Lam.

Longer term, however, the case will reinforce official Chinese urgency about developing domestic technology suppliers to reduce reliance on the United States, said Lam.

Trump has “pulled out all the stops” to hamper Chinese ambitions to challenge the United States as a technology leader, Lam said. That includes imposing limits on visas for Chinese students to study science and technology.

“If the Chinese need further convincing, this case would show them beyond doubt Trump’s commitment,” said Lam.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said U.S. and Canadian business executives could face reprisals in China.

“That’s something we should be watching out for. It’s a possibility. China plays rough,” Mulroney said. “It’s a prominent member of their society and it’s a company that really embodies China’s quest for global recognition as a technology power.”

___

Gillies reported from Toronto. AP researcher Yu Bing in Beijing contributed.

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Economy

Conservatives opposed Sanders, Schumer on tariffs for a reason

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Conservatives opposed Sanders Schumer on tariffs for a reason

Now that President Trump has made tariffs a good thing in the eyes of most Republicans, many conservatives seem to have forgotten why we adamantly opposed them for years. Many have selective memory regarding their opposition to Senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders as they pushed for tariffs on China. The reason fiscal conservatives do not support tariffs is because it’s American consumers and businesses who pay for them, not China.

This is a fact. It’s not contested, though it’s conveniently ignored by those who so desperately want President Trump to win they’re unwilling to speak out when his victories align with fiscally irresponsible Democrats.

In June, Schumer said, “I thought what he did on China is right.” Just before that, Sanders said, “I strongly support imposing stiff penalties on countries like China.” It seems the Republican Party has aligned with the backwards economic policies of the left that increase costs to American businesses and consumers simply because Tariff Man said it was going to work. It won’t.

When Chinese companies are forced to pay a tariff to export to the United States, they don’t just take the hit and roll with it. They raise prices to compensate. That means American companies and their consumers are forced to pay more. This isn’t complicated economic math. Conservatives have always opposed tariffs because we realize the benefits are greatly outweighed by the detriments.

Tariffs are a way for the federal government to essentially tax Americans through the increased money they pay to foreign countries for their imports. They sometimes have the benefit of forcing companies to turn away from imports and pay higher prices to domestic sources, which is one of the goals the President has highlighted. But whether these companies are paying higher prices because of the tariffs or higher prices to domestic sources, the end result is American consumers invariably pay more for their products.

Free trade works in this global economy because it minimizes the costs passed through to consumers. We are a consumer-driven nation. Our economy does not thrive through “fair trade” because we are no longer reliant on exports to drive us fiscally. That’s not to say exports are bad. Generally speaking, they’re no longer our forte. Tariffs worked in the first half of the 20th century because the global economy allowed for it. Today, the global economy has producers and consumers. We fall in the latter category, and that’s not a bad thing. It means we need to produce through innovation and expansion, not reliance on exports to keep our economy afloat.

Democrats have perpetuated the false pretense that tariffs still benefit Americans today because it’s an additional source of revenue drawn from American businesses and consumers that does not need to be classified as a tax. However, tariffs act like a tax that’s filtered through other countries. We charge China. China charges American businesses. American businesses charge consumers. In the end, it’s Americans paying more of their hard-earned money that ends up in the federal government’s coffers.

Conservatives need to remember why a majority of Republicans opposed tariffs until three years ago. We need to remember why Schumer and Sanders so adamantly support them. Just because they’re being pushed by Republicans doesn’t mean they’re right.

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