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Foreign policy and the 2020 election in a polarized nation

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Foreign policy and the 2020 election in a polarized nation

Sometimes Hawaii feels like 1959. Statehood and the rift for the soul of the people between Democrats and Republicans began. It was a very short conflict and the Democrats won convincingly. Republicans are still trying to regain footing.

Sometimes the United States of America feels like 1859. Few today remember President James Buchanan whose actions and inactions were conducive to the polarization of the nation. He was inaugurated 162 years ago yesterday on March 4, 1857. On this date in 1861, Abraham Lincoln who is now hailed by most as one of our greatest Presidents inherited a country that was coming apart at the seams.

In 2019, the two American major political parties don’t just seem to be on different wavelengths. It’s more like they’re on different planets. It’s not my purpose here to go into the causes or the solutions, but rather the impact on foreign policy.

On the domestic scene, GOP and Dems have a totally different vision of what this country is all about. At this point in time, people at both ends of the political spectrum are using the battle cry, “Let’s take our country back.”

I will admit to using that phrase myself during the term of our previous President. But I definitely just meant do it legally at the polls with one person one vote. Those who are out of power today including the losing candidate for President last time just don’t seem to be able to accept the fact that she lost.

Never mind electoral votes vs. popular votes. That’s a distraction. In 1876, President Rutherford B. Hayes won the electoral vote 185-184 while losing the popular vote to Samuel J. Tilden. Remember him?  Of course not.

19 years on, even the year 2000 Election from Hell between Bush and Gore is now before the birth date of next year’s new 18-year-old voters. In our current short-attention-span, historically-illiterate political culture, all the stuff from bygone eras is not in the public consciousness today.

There is no common vision on anything. Is the sky blue or is it red? In the past, the United States Constitution was the reference that settled arguments albeit it depending upon the interpretation thereof with the U.S. Supreme Court as the final arbiter.

This is not the place to go into each of the issues that divide us. Right to life. The sanctity of marriages capable of procreating. Social re-engineering of society. Much, much more.

The point in this current discussion of U.S. foreign policy is that we are ill-prepared to deal with the rest of the world when we are so internally incohesive. Do we need to present a peace plan to Israel and Palestinians? Do we have the foggiest notion how to bring people together who have diametrically opposed definitions of reality?

Right now, a lot of senior people inside the DC beltway are beating the war drums towards Venezuela. With just a little short of 200 countries in the world, how many of them have horrible dictatorships and oppression of the people?

In how many that have a long-honored tradition of free speech, are people being prosecuted and persecuted for criticizing Islam? Are we in this country on a moral pedestal to dictate or even lecture to the world about how they ought to live when two American Midwestern states just elected Sharia-advocate women to Congress, not to mention utterly unrepentant socialists both young and old?

My concern is not that the world needs to be a better place globally. Rather I’m perplexed that we have very serious issues that we need to sort out amongst ourselves before we start setting ourselves up as an example for others.

Getting back to Venezuela, if there are foreign missiles aimed at Miami or other parts of the United States, then we have no choice but to act decisively. But as long as it is an internal issue, no matter how reprehensible, of the Venezuelan people, we have no dog in that fight. I am old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis in which JFK stared down Nikita Khrushchev.

So Venezuela is a case where we can kibitz all we want from a proper distance, but we absolutely must not intervene militarily unless responding to a direct threat against our own country. But there are countries as well as non-state actors in the world who do threaten our own security.

On those, all our elected leaders, both Republican and Democrat, need to present a united front. I don’t anticipate this to magically happen anytime soon, but the consequences of our internal divisiveness may soon become apparent to one and all due to ineffectiveness on the world scene.

Let’s briefly look at five of the major countries that we need to keep a wary eye on, both short-term and in the long run, in ascending order of urgency:

Russia

In 2018, former President George W. Bush told Fox Business News, “When I looked into his eyes and saw his soul, Russia was broke. I mean, short-term broke. And ah, the price of oil goes up and Putin changed.” Vladimir Putin is the result of his many years with the notorious KGB. He was never a friend of the USA. But absolute power has totally gone to his head and turned him into an old Soviet-style tyrant.

In many ways, the Cold War has already returned. Russian planes are getting as close to the coast of Alaska as we will permit. Lately the Middle East Media Research Institute [MEMRI] has translated and posted to YouTube numerous videos of warmongering by Russian officials and even a choir singing about bombing America. Nobody in their right mind thinks that would be happening without Vlad’s express permission and oversight.

But the Cold War deterrent of Mutually Assured Destruction [MAD] still applies to Moscow and all its political satellites. For all their bellicose talk and belligerent actions, their own survival is tantamount in their strategic path forward as they seek world preeminence.

Turkey

Turkey is a member of NATO and has long been considered an ally of the United States. During the first Cold War, the U.S. Air Force had security installations in Turkey that monitored activity across the border in the Soviet Union.

But Recep Tayyip Erdogan who previously was Turkish Prime Minister and is now Turkish President has plans to re-establish the Ottoman Empire with himself as Caliph. He only opposed ISIS because they were a competitor for this objective.

Pictures of embraces between former U.S. President Barack Obama and this Turkish tyrant are extremely troubling. However, President Donald Trump’s willingness to accept assurances during a personal phone call with Erdogan that Turkey would look out for our interests in Syria also set off alarm bells in those most knowledgeable about national security issues.

Turkey seeks domination over the Sunni Dar ul-Islam which is bringing it into direct conflict with the majority of the Arab world. Syria is caught in a real conundrum right now where the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.

This deserves closer scrutiny in a future analysis.

China

Beijing now has a Communist dictator in the mold of Mao Tse Tung. Xi Jinping is rapidly building up his country’s military hardware and preparing for a potential confrontation.

While some Americans focus on trade and tariff issues, Chinese-deployed lasers are being used against American military pilots around Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

China’s presence at the Gwadar Sea Port in Pakistan is significant especially considering the volatility of Pakistan itself along with neighboring Iran and Afghanistan.

Beijing’s direct threat to Philippine-claimed islands and coral reefs in the Spratly Islands and South China Sea / West Philippine Sea were recently addressed when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and assured Manila that the USA has their back in dealing with China.

China is also extending its hegemony into the independent nations and former U.S. territories in the Pacific Basin. The United States Indo-Pacific Command takes this very seriously and has enhanced American military presence in this vital part of the world in proximity to Hawaii. This will be looked at much more closely in a future article for NOQ Report.

North Korea

Actually, China and North Korea could possibly switch places in this ascending threat hierarchy. But, Kim Jong-Un, perhaps even more so than his father and grandfather before him, is really an unpredictable and unknown quantity.

I won’t go into the recent Trump-Kim Summits in Singapore and Hanoi. Enough is already being said about these two recent spectacles.

North Korea is ranked as the #1 persecutor of Christians in the entire world. Most of the worst countries are Muslim. But the dictator in Pyongyang imposes a cult of personality worship of himself.

Without going into all the heart-wrenching details how Christians are imprisoned and killed in the Hermit Kingdom, let’s just say it is not reasonable to trust the word of a man who presides over all this death and misery. Kim has had his own relatives blown to smithereens in spectacular gory executions.

His finger on the nuclear trigger is always an incredibly serious threat no matter what he promises to Western leaders in televised public events that just promote his own image of himself.

Iran

The reason for putting Iran as the #1 threat is that Mutually Assured Destruction absolutely does not apply to the Tehran regime. Au contraire, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, plus the titular officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps under General Qasem Soleimani, all actively seek and plan to bring about Earth’s final battle.

The apocalyptic Shia Islamic theocracy is working to summon back the 12th or Hidden Imam so the Mahdi will defeat and destroy all Iran’s enemies. The threats against Israel have moved beyond rhetoric and are already becoming kinetic. The United States is seen as an impediment to Iran’s world domination.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action initiated by Barack Obama just allowed Iran to accelerate their nuclear weapons capabilities. Once Iran has a nuke that is deliverable, it is totally warranted to believe they will use it against Israel.

The United States recently joined in the Juniper Cobra exercise in Israel. Open source public domain reports have indicated that activities may have occurred in the Jezreel Valley where Megiddo is located. You can look at Revelation 16:16 and the end times Battle of Armageddon in Christian eschatology.

The distinction is that Christians believe all this will be implemented by God in His own time. The Shia Muslim Regime in Tehran is acting upon their belief that they must set the circumstances to initiate their version of that cataclysmic conflict.

In Conclusion

Going back to our initial consideration of polarization in the United States as it determines the way the 2020 Presidential Campaign is being conducted, we see that there is far from consensus in our own country about the nature of the threat and the consequent responses thereto. In each of the five countries surveyed here today, essentially one man in each of them can initiate World War III unilaterally.

  • Putin
  • Erdogan
  • Xi
  • Kim
  • Khamenei

I am not prepared to add the name Trump to that list. First because I don’t believe he would seek it as the others may. Moreover because there are safeguards and checks and balances in the United States that prevent even an inadvertent first strike of World War III.

But being from Hawaii, I look at the Democrat field of candidates and consider the completely far-fetched notion that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, once criticized as too hawkish in the Middle East, is now running on an anti-war campaign. I look at her previous flip flops on family values matters as well as national security issues.

You would rightly be terrified to think that she could someday receive that 3 a.m. call in the White House residence. Don’t worry, that’s not going to happen. If anything, she is vying to be somebody’s VP running mate to set herself up for the 2028 election. She’s only 37 years old now.

But the other Democrat contenders, including possibly even she who lost the 2016 election, would be equally dangerous if elected in 2020. The mainstream media will not ask the tough questions and hold these people who aspire to be President accountable to provide substantive answers to the threats we face both now and in the future.

NOQ Report provides a timely forum for fresh formulations of the issues. This is where you can come to receive information that is not readily available from media sources who are beholden to politicians. Here truth is the only criterion.

 


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1 Comment

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  1. Sharon Mercer

    March 5, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Tulsi Gabbard is exactly the person I want as President receiving that 3 a.m. call in the White House residence. She is calm, cool, and collected. She has a military background and has seen the costs of war firsthand. SHe puts the American people first!

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Foreign Affairs

Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

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Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

Two Russian jets carrying troops and equipment landed in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of a mission to “fullfil technical military contracts,” according to Russian media. But it’s almost certain this is part of Russia’s play on Venezuela to prop up socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro just as they did with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, most Americans who follow the news cycle were bombarded with perspectives on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Robert Mueller investigation report. In it, President Trump and his 2016 campaign were found to not have colluded with the Russians in their election hacking endeavors.

My Take

While most were focused on fake Russian collusion, the real thing was happening in one of the world’s hottest spots, Venezuela.

Russia’s play here is simple: keep Maduro in power at all costs. They got the drop on any actions the United States may have been planning, though it’s unlikely those plans included military intervention. Still, Russia isn’t taking any chances. By getting troops and equipment on the ground, they’ll be able help Maduro by offering cover from outside actions while bolstering his support internally.

Any defections or coup attempts will be much less likely with Russia directly involved.

The opposition leader who America and over 50 other nations consider to be the rightful interim president, Juan Guaido, has been trying to get international support while maintaining domestic support, but Maduro’s move may have prevented that from happening.

In essence, the battle over Venezuela is now over. It’s unfathomable to conceive of action by the United States or any other’s who support Guaido other than diplomatic efforts that will accomplish nothing. Venezuela is doomed to retain their socialist dictator now.

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Foreign Affairs

Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

A confirmed rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Israeli homes near the border in the Kfar Saba area outside Tel Aviv. Sirens were heard prior to the rocket explosion and posted by the IDF Twitter account.

Six people were injured in the attack.

My Take

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been getting old for years, but now is not the time to blow off the news. Hamas is having internal strife as its citizens protest living and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip. To garner international support and save face for failing to help their own people, Hamas is trying to start another war.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is caught between a contentious election at home and the need to get his own international support, particularly from the United States. He’s in Washington DC now to meet with President Trump, who has offered his support and endorsement for the long-time Prime Minister.

Hamas would love nothing more than for Netanyahu to be gone, replaced by a leftist who will wheel and deal for “peace” with the Palestinians regardless of the cost. If that happens, the toll will be great on Israel and the world.

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Foreign Affairs

Here’s hoping there’s a plan we don’t know about with North Korea

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Heres hoping theres a plan we dont know about with North Korea

In a move that many, including supporters on the right, are calling a move of weakness, the President reversed the Treasury Department’s additional sanctions on North Korea.

My Take

I’m just not sure what to make of this. I understand many have been concerned about how nicely the President has treated Kim Jong un, but I’ve always felt there was some sort of plan happening behind the scenes that would justify it. Now, I’m not so sure.

This move emboldens Kim to continue avoiding any compromise on his nuclear weapons program. It tells him and the rest of the world President Trump isn’t going to be playing hardball and intends to coax the North Korean dictator into signing some sort of agreement before the 2020 elections.

Dare I say, this seems very Obamaesque? Where’s the hardball? Where’s the threats against Rocketman? If there’s some sort of 4D chess being played in the background, I seriously hope we see it in play soon. This is a strange move.

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