More Middle East Chest Thumping

In speeches to the UN both Trump and the Saudis did what these two peacocks do…..macho BS….

Trump what Trump does…..blah….blah…blah…. Trump again blamed Tehran for the recent attack on Saudi Arabia. “All nations have a duty to act—no responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust,” he said, while pledging to ratchet up sanctions if Iran remained aggressive……blah….blah…blah….

Then the Saudis had to chest thump as well….as if to follow instruction….

While President Trump has said that the US is not interested in a war with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, took to a UN meeting to suggest that US military options are still being considered.

While it seems a bit presumptive for the Saudi FM to decide to speak to US policy, his comments that US patience is “not inexhaustible” seems to be directed both at threatening Iran, and at trying to get the rest of the world on board with the conflict.

Al-Jubeir says that the UN report on the attack will be available soon, and that there is a whole list of options, including military options, still being considered, with him wanting to mobilize international support for what is to come.

(antiwar.com)

“The US is not interested in a war”….does anyone truly believe that bullsh*t?

The Saudis talk tough but would they really do the heavy lifting for the US?

I do not think they would do anything but rather find a proxy so their hands are “clean”…..

here is a longstanding joke told in the Middle East about Saudi Arabia’s reluctance to fight its own wars. “Saudi Arabia will fight until the last Pakistani,” the punchline goes, in reference to the fact that Pakistani troops have long supported Saudi’s military endeavours.

The punchline has expanded lately to include the Sudanese, a recent addition to the Saudi army’s ground troops. Saudi Arabia is accustomed to buying labour that it deems too menial for its citizens, and it extends that philosophy to its army.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/22/saudi-arabia-iran-us-middle-east-saudis

Proxy wars…kinda sounds like the old Cold War, huh?

How did the US get dragged into the middle of this mash up?

A great question and watch for the answer in a post to come.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Trump Speaks At The UN

That is what Trump does….He Speaks…..

This time his his speech to the UN General Council…..these are his words of wisdom(?)…….

These are the major points of his rambling talk…..

President Trump addressed the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, touching on topics including Iran, the trade war with China, his disdain of globalism, and border security. Highlights from sources including the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and USA Today:

  • Nationalism: Trump said other nations must respect American sovereignty, and he said all nations should put their own citizens first. “The future does not belong to globalists,” he said. “The future belongs to patriots.” And in one of his takeaway lines: “If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. If you want peace, love your nation.”
  • Iran: Trump again blamed Tehran for the recent attack on Saudi Arabia. “All nations have a duty to act—no responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust,” he said, while pledging to ratchet up sanctions if Iran remained aggressive.
  • Border controversy: “Today, I have a message for those open border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just, your policies are cruel and evil.” Trump accused them of “empowering criminal organizations that prey on innocent men, women and children,” and he said undermining border security is tantamount to “undermining human rights and human dignity.”
  • China: He accused Beijing of “gaming” world trade and the World Trade Organization of giving preferential treatment to China. He called on the world community to pressure Beijing into fairer trade policies. “For years these abuses were tolerated, ignored, or even encouraged,” he said. “Our goal is simple: we want balanced trade that is both fair and reciprocal.” Trump also called on China to “honor its binding treaty… to protect Hong Kong’s freedom, legal system and democratic ways of life.”

On Iran he thumped his chest……on the border he still hangs with all are criminals seeking tom join gangs and rob white Americans…..only thing on China that was interesting that he told China to respect democracy and yet turns blind eye elsewhere like the Occupied Territories….finally once again a call for more “nationalism” that sounds all too familiar.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

The Joint Korean Declaration

Last week the two leaders of the Korean Peninsula met at the DMZ and the world was hopeful……the chance are that their negotiations could bring an end to many decades of animosities toward each other.

Below is the link to the text of the declaration which I offer for people to see that these are great proposals……the problem is it is short on  specifics.  If this turns out to be a good thing and peace is found it will not be this year or even next…..

The following is an unofficial translation of the full text of a joint declaration signed and issued by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the end of their bilateral summit held Friday at the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom inside the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2018/04/27/0200000000AEN20180427013900315.html

Please do not start handing out the Nobel before there is a reason to award the prize……the situation is promising but not permanent…..keep in mind nothing about this is new……in the past proposals similar to these have been made and never come about…..

Possibly good things could happen but do not bet the house on it…..going “all in” would be a mistake at this point.

And Then There Was Phoenix

On Monday night Pres. Trump had a good speech….although I do not agree with his proposal…..it was good….he made good points to lay out why he made his decision to act as he will.

Yes, I would even say that it was presidential.

The part that I appreciated was his call for peace in this country that we should come together and work as a nation (not all his words just my paraphrase)….it was good and it was presidential….but like I stated I do not think this is the best way forward for Afghanistan.

Then Tuesday night he, Trump,  goes on a campaign rally in Phoenix…..

After a brilliant speech that was very presidential and then we get the speech of a spoiled spiteful bully of a 12 year old…..he could not let his Monday speech have legs for a couple of days before he pisses on his success.

President Trump unleashed a new torrent of criticism on the media Tuesday night over the coverage of his Charlottesville remarks. At a political rally in Phoenix, Trump also stopped short of pardoning former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but strongly he hinted he would do so soon, reports NBC News. “It’s time to expose the crooked-media deceptions and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions,” Trump told about 10,000 supporters inside the Phoenix Convention Center, per the Arizona Republic. “For the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people.” Trump rehashed his remarks after the Virginia violence, though the New York Times notes that he did not repeat his much-criticized theme that both sides were to blame, and he accused the media of distorting his comments.

“I hit ’em with neo-Nazi. I hit them with everything,” said the president. “I got the white supremacists, the neo-Nazi. I got them all in there. Let’s see. KKK, we have KKK,” said Trump, who had taken flak for waiting two days to condemn those groups. As for Arpaio, Trump drew a rousing response when he asked of the former Maricopa County sheriff, “Do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe?” and “Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?” He then added that he wouldn’t be pardoning Arpaio on Tuesday night in order to avoid controversy. But “I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine.” Outside, police arrested four protesters during the night, reports the AP. Things were mostly peaceful, but officers fired tear gas at the protesters after they say some began throwing objects as the rally was breaking up.

He does just what he blames others of….he hates anyone that will not bend over for him or kiss his ass.

After more than 7 months we have nothing positive in his win column.

This is what will pass as governing for the next 3 and half years.

Full text: Donald Trump’s speech on fighting terrorism

Most visitors here know that I am a foreign policy wonk…..I judge candidates on how they will handle the international relations of this country.  I am a natural born skeptic (my grandfather would be proud)……

While I am not a supporter of Trump he has made some interesting statements on foreign policy….to be fair he has also made some of the dumbest statements on record….

The other day he made what was billed as a foreign policy speech….and I would like to post the text here in case someone may have missed the speech….and might be interesting in reading it so that do not have to depend on the regurgitation of others (probably not)……

Donald Trump’s remarks on terrorism on August 15, as prepared for delivery.

Source: Full text: Donald Trump’s speech on fighting terrorism – POLITICO

The AP also has a breakdown on his speech…..

Donald Trump on Monday will call for a new ideological test for admission to the United States, vetting applicants on their stance on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. The policy would represent a significant shift in how the U.S. manages entry into the country.

In a speech in swing state Ohio, Trump will also call for “foreign policy realism” and an end to nation-building if elected president. And he’ll argue that the United States needs to work with anyone who shares the mission of destroying the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations, regardless of other disagreements.

“Mr. Trump’s speech will explain that while we can’t choose our friends, we must always recognize our enemies,” Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller said.

The Republican nominee’s foreign policy address comes during a rocky stretch for his campaign. He’s struggled to stay on message and has consistently overshadowed his policy rollouts, including an economic speech last week, with provocative statements, including falsely declaring that President Barack Obama was the “founder” of the Islamic State.

Source: Associated Press

There are a lot of sources (some not as reliable as I would like) that see his rambling speech as mostly gibberish…..

Donald Trump delivered what one analyst calls a “surprisingly serious” speech on foreign policy and counterterrorism Monday—but serious may not equal coherent. Many analysts were taken aback by the mix of proposals in the speech, which included policies favored by the Obama and George W. Bush administrations, along with ideas dating back to the Cold War and some touches that were pure Trump. A roundup of reactions:

  • Some elements of Trump’s speech on the war on “radical Islamic terrorism” were familiar, but what was new was “alarming,” according to the Los Angeles Times editorial board. His calls for a Cold War-style “ideological screening test” and a Commission on Radical Islam could be “catastrophically counterproductive,” they write—and “would punish thoughts rather than deeds,” as well as encourage newcomers to the US to conceal their beliefs.
  • Former Bush administration official Peter Feaver tells the New York Times that he gives Trump credit for the “surprisingly serious” speech, but a striking amount of it “depends on counterterrorism ideas developed by the Bush administration.” The “good parts are not new,” and “the new parts are not good,” he says.
  • Robert Burns at the AP believes there was a lot more Obama than Bush in Trump’s disdain for nation-building. Obama ditched Bush’s large-scale projects in Iraq and Afghanistan while “trying to keep enough US influence there to prevent those two countries from crumbling,” he writes, noting that Trump’s argument that the US should have seized Iraq’s oil isn’t nation-building, it’s “nation-grabbing.”
  • John Noonan, Jeb Bush’s former national security adviser, tells NBC News that Trump is completely correct about Obama’s contribution to the rise of ISIS, and not much else. “The rest of his foreign policy is an absolutely blathering jumble of nonsense,” he says. “I can’t in good conscience sign my name to it.”
  • At Politico, Nahal Toosi looks at the “extreme vetting” proposal that has replaced Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration and finds numerous problems. She notes that focusing on regions with a “history of exporting terrorism” would include much of Europe, even if only Islamist-inspired terrorism is included.
  • Trump seemed bored by much of his own speech and only seemed excited when congratulating himself on his prescience or accusing Hillary Clinton of “wanting to be ‘America’s Angela Merkel,'” per the Lexington column at the Economist. The article notes that real Cold War veterans will find this election very strange. “The party of Eisenhower and Reagan has nominated a man who calls looting of foreign assets the highest priority for America in war, and who sucks up to Russia,” it says.
  • Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post is equally scathing in his fact-checking of the speech. Kessler debunks claims, including the notion of an Obama “apology tour” in 2009, and notes that Trump was not an outspoken opponent of the Iraq War until well after it began—and that he has apparently forgotten that he “was a fervent advocate of intervening in Libya.”

Sorry he still has not convinced me that he has an adequate grasp on international situations……especially from someone that wants to be the world leader as president of the United States……

Dem “Gong Show”–The Finale

Finally the misery of the convention has ended….did so by Chelsea Clinton (candidate in waiting) introduced her mother so that she could officially accept the nomination of the Democratic Party.

The nomination was opened up with a “lollipop and rainbows” speech…..

“It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president of the United States,” Hillary Clinton told the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, delivering a fiery acceptance speech that cast herself as a unifier who can keep America safe, and Donald Trump as a dangerous, blustering con man. Five of her best lines:

  • “It’s true,” Clinton said. “I sweat the details of policy—whether we’re talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs. Because it’s not just a detail if it’s your kid, if it’s your family. It’s a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.”
  • “We’re going to give small businesses a boost. Make it easier to get credit,” said Clinton, who promised that creating more jobs with rising wages would be her primary mission. “Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks.”
  • “Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis,” Clinton said after skewering Trump’s foreign policy pronouncements. “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
  • “I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment,” she said after turning to domestic policy. “I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”
  • “I’m here to tell you tonight—progress is possible,” she said. “I know because I’ve seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up. And I know it from my own life. More than a few times, I’ve had to pick myself up and get back in the game.” After getting one of her biggest cheers of the night, she added that her mother had taught her to never back down and that “you have to stand up to bullies.”

“Yes, the world is watching what we do. Yes, America’s destiny is ours to choose. So let’s be stronger together,” she said in conclusion. “Looking to the future with courage and confidence. Building a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country. When we do, America will be greater than ever,” Clinton said before she was joined on stage by Tim Kaine, followed by what the Guardian describes as a “fireworks waterfall” and a “balloon blizzard.”

5 things and not one of them is a solution to a problem….but I did not expect anyone to be serious about “fixing” the country.

The misery of the endless showboating of the convention is over and now we have two officially accepted candidates and the 2016 election is off and running for real….no more theatrics now they must convince the voter that they are the candidate for them……that their lives will be better for the vote….. (sorry I was laughing so hard I farted a bit)…..

All in all this was the best Republican Convention I have ever witnessed (please do not correct I know what I wrote)….it covered all the GOP talking points….sugary family values, kissed Israel’s ass, promised more war and interventions,  taxes blah-blah, small business etc…..perfect GOP.

Mercifully it is over and now I can return to the stuff of real life…..I prefer news to theater…..

The Speech: Will It Be Famous Or Infamous?

The GOP nominee, Donald J. Trump, made is acceptance speech last night….according to C-SPAN it was the longe4st speech since 1972………and after it was given the media has been tossing it around as a speech like NO other….some attack it and others defend it….

So will it be a famous speech or an infamous speech?

What is being said?

Foes and fans alike can agree on one thing about Donald Trump’s big speech at the GOP convention: It was really, really long. According to C-SPAN, the 76-minute acceptance speech was the longest since at least 1972. The speech—in which Trump portrayed America as a very troubled place and himself as the man to fix it—was a lot less uplifting than the typical acceptance speech, analysts say, though it certainly met with approval from the crowd at the Quicken Loans Arena. A roundup of reactions:

  • Critics said the speech “offered a gloomy, forbidding vision to a nation that prides itself on optimism,” writes Niall Stanage at the Hill, but it was good enough to stabilize the GOP as the spotlight turns to Hillary Clinton, and it ended a messy convention on a positive note.
  • Trump gave the crowd what it wanted: “a command performance of the tough-talking, details-free approach that won him the nomination in the first place,” writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post, who decides the speech probably helped Trump, though undecided voters might not agree with his “deeply dystopian and dark” perception of America in 2016.

 

  • Democratic and Republican speechwriters alike were “stupefied” by Trump’s failure to use the speech to tell his own story. “It’s a lost opportunity,” says former George W. Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer, who had been expecting anecdotes that would make the candidate seem like less of a caricature. “A little humanity and self-reflection is usually very powerful in a speech,” he says.
  • The “raw, at times powerful, at times meandering” address was the Trump “stump speech on steroids,” and while it was easily “the most competent, professional, pre-written and telepromptered address of Trump’s career,” it’s not going to do much to expand his voter base, writes Glenn Thrush at Politico.
  • “Give him credit for this: @realDonaldTrump is a dark, disturbed man & he sees in the country what he sees in the mirror,” tweeted former Mitt Romney speechwriter Stuart Stevens.
  • This was “probably the best speech he could have given,” writes Marc Ambinder at the Week, who believes it was aimed squarely at angry white working-class voters in the Rust Belt—a group that could hand Trump the presidency. “If he can motivate a million more people across five states to vote and a million fewer people in another five states to stay home—Donald Trump can win,” he writes.
  • Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight believes it’s too early to say how the speech will play out. “This speech will either be famous or infamous for many years to come,” he writes, adding that “Trump could become president, obviously. Or he could lose by 15 points.”
  • The Washington Post notes that in a “radical departure” from the speeches of previous GOP nominees, Trump didn’t mention God or his faith once—and in a sign of rapidly changing attitudes, the RNC audience cheered when he vowed to “protect our LGBTQ citizens.”
  • Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Trump wasn’t offering answers, but just “more fear, more division, more anger, more hate.” “America is better than Donald Trump,” campaign spokesman John Podesta said. “Next week in Philadelphia, Democrats will focus on issues, not anger,” he said. “We’ll offer a positive vision for the future based on lifting America up, not tearing Americans down.”

Personally, I did not like it…..as a foreign policy junkie I heard nothing that would give me confidence in Trump’s plans for his presidency.

Any thoughts?