Trump Thanked Putin For Cutting America’s Diplomatic Corps

While many Americans are rightfully concerned that Trump is playing to a big-time wrestling script with thermonuclear war as possible result, the reality show character’s close relationship with Vladimir Putin is not commanding much news coverage. However, yesterday while some Americans were considering building bomb shelters in their backyards, Trump showed that he still embraces Russia and continues rejecting America and more importantly, its diplomats.

No doubt Trump has yearned for a reason to thank Putin for his valuable (campaign) support over the last year-and-a-half, but that would just further implicate his complicity in Russia’s attack on democracy. Still, Trump found a way to express his gratitude to Putin and “stab American diplomats in the back” in the process; because diplomats prevent wars.

When Trump was asked what his thoughts were on Putin expelling about 775 diplomats from Russia as retaliation for new congressionally-mandated sanctions, he seized the occasion to express how “very thankful” he was that Putin expelled hundreds of American diplomats from Russia. He even explained why he was grateful.

Trump said:

I want to thank him [Putin] because we’re trying to cut down our [State Department] payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There’s no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.”

No sane person thinks Trump was being facetious in offering his gratitude to Putin; no small number of diplomats and foreign policy experts have bemoaned loudly that Trump’s refusal to even partially staff the State Department is a gargantuan disaster waiting to happen. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is rabid about cutting down on diplomats, and the idea that Trump wants a non-functioning State Department has nothing to do with “saving a lot of money.” He is more than willing to spend a “lot more money” on bombs and bullets in one fiscal year than it costs to run the State Department for a decade.  Trump and his key alt-right advisors ardently believe that the best way to conduct foreign policy with any country is not diplomacy; they love threats, belligerence, bullying and war. It is the worldview Trump has demonstrated over the past few days in the grandest fashion imaginable.

There have been several reports that the State Department is woefully understaffed with no plans, or intent whatsoever, to fill those positions. And they are crucial positions around the world that do not include janitorial or kitchen help jobs. This danger is not all down to Trump, but it is likely he directed Secretary of State Tillerson not to bother himself with putting up nominees for “low priority” positions such as assistant secretary for diplomatic security. Some Americans may recall that Republicans consider diplomatic security at the bottom of their low-priority concerns to explain why the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi lacked adequate security and protection.

As many former diplomats and foreign policy experts have noted, there is much “more than an ineffectual State Department here, there is real danger.” The real danger is when, not if, something in the world goes terribly wrong like when a poor manager and inexperienced malcontent issues biblically-inspired threats of “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Every administration faces crises throughout their tenure, and everything falling on Trump stems from the rest of the world’s perception that he is a sap and those foreign policy crises are only going to increase in number and frequency. As noted in the Washington Post, America’s foes feel emboldened with an incompetent in the White House.

They also state the peril of Trump endangering national security by not filling important diplomatic positions; or worse, thanking a hostile foreigner for “cutting down our [diplomatic] payroll and letting a lot of people go.”

It is frightening to imagine what happens when “a crisis erupts in an area of the world that Tillerson hasn’t bothered to staff,” or another attack on an embassy occurs when Tillerson has not bothered to put up a nominee for assistant secretary for diplomatic security? “Tillerson and the president Trump will be in deep trouble.

Remember too that Trump claimed filling his administration with billionaires with exemplary business backgrounds would ensure that his government will have better management and only the very best people will be employed. “Instead they cannot perform the most basic management task of an administration — picking personnel.”

A career foreign service officer who served as an ambassador to Poland in the Clinton Administration and on the National Security Council under Bush really put Trump’s idiocy and third-rate management skills under a spotlight with two simple rhetorical questions. Dan Fried asked:

Under what theory of management is there not an assistant secretary for Europe or Asia?”  And, “How do you make an administration effective when your institutions are weak?

Trump believes his administration is effective because he controls one powerful institution; the United States military and its robust nuclear arsenal. It is likely why he said the hundreds of diplomats “Putin let go to cut America’s State Department payroll” are not going back. It is also highly likely that since Secretary of State Tillerson is BFFs with Putin, Trump believes diplomats are unnecessary; Putin will help Tillerson run the State Department and probably help him cut the diplomatic payroll even more.

It is particularly prescient right now that Trump is demonstrating what he thinks of diplomats or seeking a diplomatic solution to end his nuclear pissing match with the North Korea’s version of Donald J. Trump. One thing is crystal clear after Trump’s showy display of gratitude for some Rusky budget cutting assistance; Trump is too enamored and thankful to ever get into a pissing match with Vladimir Putin.

Cuba’s Foreign Minister Assails Trump’s “Grotesque” Cold War Spectacle

No matter that it’s the 21st Century and the Cold War has been over for thirty-plus years, Donald Trump is determined to undo diplomatic progress and return to an era of distrust and provocation for no apparently logical reason. It isn’t surprising though; dunce Donnie is not recognized by anyone as having a logical bone in his flabby orange body, or awareness that any blindfolded third-grader can easily see through his hypocrisy. That being the case, it was prescient that after Trump’s announcement on Friday last that he was returning America to its decades-old cold war footing with Cuba, a high-ranking Cuban Minister would assail the idiot in the Oval Office.

Yesterday in Vienna Austria, Cuba’s Foreign Minister took the time out of his busy schedule to “lash out” at Trump’s announcement restricting travel, business, and prospective economic ties to his country; an announcement Minister Bruno Rodriguez called “a grotesque spectacle that came out of the Cold War.” Mr. Rodriguez’ comments were a couple of days after Trump announced that he canceled the deal President Barack Obama negotiated with the Cuban government to “begin normalizing relations” with a neighboring nation and incrementally remove decades-old sanctions against the Cuban people.

Mr. Rodriguez was meeting with Austrian officials and expressed his disgust with Trump to reporters. He said:

There will not be a presidential directive from the U.S. that will alter the direction of Cuba. We have gone through everything, our people have gone through everything. What could they menace us with now that they haven’t before and failed? It looks like revisiting the same policy that didn’t work for 50 years — it is a failed policy.

Then Mr. Rodriguez addressed the hypocrisy of Trump’s return to Cold War policies because of human rights. He told NBC News:

Trump talks about business interests, making America great again. They have nothing to do with human rights. When it comes to Cuba, the massive and systematic harm to human rights comes from the blockade … and President Trump proposes to harden it.

It is surprising that a president who has based all his policies on things that are very distant from human rights proposes … as a top priority the defense of human rights in Cuba.”

To be fair, there have been human rights complaints against the Cuban government that one of Trump’s puppeteers, the Heritage Foundation, said had incurred “global outrage and a shame.” However, the Heritage Foundation never, never ever, not even once, has an untoward remark to say about Israel that has increasingly drawn serious global outrage over its shameful human rights abuses targeting Palestinians.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Cuban government has repressed criticism; like Trump and his BFFs in Saudi Arabia, Russia, Egypt, and the Philippines have. Although Trump hasn’t been able to arrest journalists like his “most favored” repressive nations, he has embraced their tactics of “public acts of shaming and arbitrary termination of employment” for criticism and dissent. But despite those human rights abuses, those countries are not suffering any of Trump’s Cold War policies being inflicted on Cuba.

However critical Human Rights Watch (HRW) was of Cuba, they also warned that, as usual, the ordinary Cuban people Trump feigned concern over as justification for his moronic action would certainly suffer his return to a Cold War posture. That acknowledgement was in agreement with the managing director of “the Americas” division of HRW, Daniel Wilkinson, who said in a statement:

The previous administration was right to reject a policy that hurt ordinary Cubans and did nothing to advance human rights. The fact that Obama’s approach hasn’t led to political reform in Cuba after just a few years isn’t reason to return to a policy that proved a costly failure over many decades.” 

Mr. Wilkinson needs a quick refresher in rudimentary arithmetic if he thinks President Obama’s “approach” has been in place for “a few years.” The Obama Administration just announced in December of  2014 that it was going to start “charting a new course for relations with Cuba,” and then began lifting restrictions in 2016. Still, the duration of the return to a semblance of normal relations isn’t the point; Trump’s hypocrisy is.

Many pundits have asked rhetorically because they already know the answer, “Why Trump takes the high road when it came to Cuba, but not other nations?”

Trump has openly praised murderous dictators in Russia, Egypt, and the Philippines as “doing a great job” when  referring to how they handle dissent and criticism, particularly in targeting protestors and journalists. And he recently became “good friends” with Saudi Arabia’s leaders who are notorious for beheading citizens for all manner of “religious infractions” that are appalling to the rest of the world. And, Trump just warned the United Nations Human Rights Commission that if it did not stop, immediately, condemning Israel’s blatant and unrelenting human rights abuses against the Palestinian people that America would leave the organization.

The former United States Ambassador to Russia and Special Assistant to the President at the National Security Council, Michael McFaul wrote:

Why is Cuba the only country in the world Trump allegedly cares about human rights? Not Russia? Not China? Not Saudi Arabia? Only Cuba.”  Mr. Rodriguez concurred with McFaul and reminded the world that when Trump was in a veritable capital of human rights abuses, Saudi Arabia, he told the Saudi government and its people: “We are not here to tell other people how to live.’ Last Friday he said quite the opposite [about my country]. Sad.

Trump is targeting Cuba because he is a raging hypocrite, he is not getting money from Cuba, and because it was a real President, Barack Obama, who began ending a five decade-long policy that should have ended with the Cold War.

There is nothing good about Trump’s return to Cold War policies toward Cuba, but there is nothing good about Donald Trump, his administration, his family or his sadistic actions towards most human beings. Although it was important that the Cuban Foreign Minister assailed Trump in front of international reporters in a foreign nation, it was another reminder of why Americans should be ashamed they let a punk-ass reality show celebrity move into the White House.

 

 

American Diplomat Overrides Trump’s Nasty London Remarks

 

There’s no doubt every American has experienced someone in their social circle, or family, that never fails to act or speak in a manner that is embarrassing. Whether it’s a drunk uncle making a spectacle of themselves at a family gathering, or a foul-mouthed co-worker unleashing a torrent of hate towards a minority, it is always left to someone else to try to fix a socially awkward situation. It isn’t often, however, that in fixing an abominable statement or act one has to contradict, “defy” or correct their boss, unless the boss is dirty Donald Trump.

Either Trump is one of those socially inept people who embarrass other people by their irrepressible idiocy, or he is just plain evil. Although Trump has embarrassed Americans since before his sparsely-attended inauguration, he is not socially inept; he is civilized and effusive with decorum in the company of Russian spies, oligarchs, bankers or the world’s murderous tyrannical leaders. The truth is that an integral component of his “severe malignant narcissism” includes being a sadist; he is just a mean-spirited and evil piece of work with no measurable socially redeeming quality or value to anyone.

Yesterday Trump displayed that moral defect and in what was a very tragic and sad situation, it was left to an American “subordinate” diplomat filling in for a vacant ambassador to try his best to cover a dastardly remark from the man who is technically his boss, Donald J. Trump.

First, the reason a subordinate diplomat had to “sort of” make amends for Trump’s viciousness is because there is no American ambassador to England. Trump has been too busy insulting other world leaders and playing golf to bother to fill one of many, many vacant government positions. To be fair, Trump did just recently dig up a billionaire that contributed heavily to his presidential campaign to be America’s ambassador to England, but like many of Trump’s appointments, the nominee’s only “diplomatic” experience is throwing money at Trump.

After the horrific terror attack in London, instead of doing what every other world leader did, and what every American president in history has done, Trump couldn’t offer any condolences or pledge support for America’s greatest ally. Instead, “Trump accused Mayor Sadiq Khan of not taking the terror attacks and loss of life seriously.” No small number of pundits and commenters have said that by implying London’s Mayor wasn’t serious about the terror attacks, Trump was accusing him of “attempting to enable the terrorists because he himself is a Muslim.

Trump said via Tweets:

We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don’t get smart it will only get worse.

At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”

Now, whether that “implied slight” contention is true or not isn’t the actual point; although it is hard not to see the Trump bigotry, veiled or otherwise, in his purely vile remark about London’s mayor. What the point is is that Trump took five words out of Mayor Khan’s complete statement to demean him as if he is careless, cold-hearted and incompetent like Trump is. It is a typically vile Trump ploy and humiliating for decent Americans to have to experience. What Mayor Khan actually said was:

Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed.”

Trump knows the Mayor was reassuring Londoners that security is being increased and that citizens shouldn’t to be alarmed by the added police presence. It is also true that at the American embassy in London, the staff knew exactly what Mayor Khan’s statement was and what it meant. So they took immediate steps to contradict the embarrassing Trump remarks. Brits understand that only Trump is insensitive enough to besmirch Mr. Khan at a time of tragedy, sadness, and mourning, but still a “fill-in” diplomat spoke for decent Americans.

The person filling in for the “missing” ambassador, Lewis Lukens, is the United States chargé d’affaires ad interim” who had to override “a deplorable response to the mayor of the capital city of our closest ally.” Mr. Lukens, whose job is likely now in jeopardy, used Trump’s favorite means of official communications to say:

I commend the strong leadership of the @MayorofLondon as he leads the city forward after this heinous attack. – LLukens.”

As noted by many commentators and pundits, Mr. Lukens’ message is one “that makes it clear who the real leader in this situation is;” it isn’t Donald Trump, it is a “subordinate diplomat.” As one Member of Parliament (MP) said after Mr. Lukens’ remarks,

This a very welcome statement, but the President has spoken. He has embarrassed America and offended London. We’re owed an apology.”

Wes Streeting, the MP who acknowledged Mr. Lukens’ statement as “welcomed,” and one becoming of a decent American citizen, is absolutely right: Trump embarrassed America and offended the fine people of London, and its fine Mayor, and its fine police force. But no-one is getting an apology. Trump is “The Ugly American.” He is a punk and he doesn’t do apologies; no matter that he offends America’s greatest ally and makes a veiled Islamophobic remark implying a London mayor lacks concern for the safety of his people.

Mayor Khan’s regard for the people of London is a level of social conscience and concern Donald Trump will never comprehend. Donald Trump is incapable of any form of empathy for, or social conscience regarding, any human being on Earth. In religious terms he is Satan the Devil – evil incarnate. In street parlance he is a seriously sick f*ck.

Ugly American Trump Insults and Alienates America’s Allies

 

 

Despite its predilection to imperialism and waging wars for the sake of enriching the American military-industrial complex, America used to be a nation most of the world had a semblance of respect for. But with an abrasive bully in the White House, whatever respect other countries had for the United States, if not lost, appears to be waning rapidly; and who could blame them? Trump has managed to disrespect, insult and alienate nearly every country on the planet save his masters in Moscow and barbaric nations ruled by tyrannical despots. However, one expected European nations’ leaders to put aside their disgust with Trump because they are devoutly aligned with the U.S through economic goals as well as their devotion to democracy, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Group of Seven (G7), and a monumentally important Paris Climate Accord. But alas, even America’s European allies have lost respect for America.

After Trump insulted and attempted to bully NATO allies and nation members’ leaders in the organization representing the seven major advanced economies in the world, it is looking increasingly like America is alienating its steadfast allies and isolating itself from the world’s democracies. For his part, Trump certainly accomplished his mission and annoyed America’s NATO partners and the so-called “Group of Seven” (G7) members by doing what he does best; be a loud-mouthed bully like the proverbial ugly American he exemplifies better than any fiction writer could ever hope to create.

Despite Trump’s claim his overseas trip was a raging success, the only thing he accomplished was humiliating Americans and sending a clear message to the rest of the world that not only is the current occupant of the White House a worthless no-account malcontent, he or the United States is not to be trusted. The real leader of the free world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said as much in a statement on Saturday; including saying that after “a bruising meeting of the G7 wealthy nations, Europeans can no longer rely on their allies.” It was a damning indictment of Trump for Ms. Merkel to say,

The days when Europe could completely count on others are over. I have experienced this in the last few days. And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands – of course in friendship with the United States, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors where that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia. But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans.”

Merkel, as the new undisputed leader of the free world, was verbalizing her and other leaders’ frustration with what has been called tense G7 and NATO meetings that were reported as being focused around “Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues.” Haaretz reported that besides being lectured and bullied by Trump, the diplomats were “frustrated at having to revisit questions” they had every reason to believe were settled long ago.

One of those issues was NATO member nations’ commitment two years ago to be more like America and spend more of their GDP on their nation’s defense budgets. Trump criticized and lectured the members who are all ahead of schedule to meet the 10-year goal set up two years ago. And as he has in the past, he acted as if the NATO members owe American taxpayers money. Trump said to absolute shock and then universal disgust:

This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States. If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.”

To reiterate, all of the member nations are on track to meet their 2024 commitment and goal NATO members agreed on two years ago, and they are increasing funding in their own defense budgets. The people and taxpayers of the United States are not being treated unfairly and the NATO members know it and it is likely true that by now Trump knows it as well. Still, the lying bully just had to lecture the other NATO leaders to confirm to himself that he is boss of the world. It is why he literally “shoved” one European leader aside so he, Donald Trump, could be the center of attention in a group photograph commemorating the inglorious occasion for the NATO leaders.

Trump also caused no small amount of despair and disgust at the G7 meeting over climate change and the all-important Paris Climate Accord that 195 nations, including America, signed on to. While the other G7 leaders were reaffirming their commitment to “swiftly implement the Paris Agreement,” Trump, who claims climate change is a Chinese hoax, said he would make a decision to either end America’s commitment to help save the planet or agree to remain if there are changes amenable to the oil industry. However, according to several sources Trump has told his closest confidantes he will rescind American involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement with 195 nations. Nothing is sacred to Trump and tragically, America’s word is no longer dependable.

Trump was so disgusting to the G7 leaders, that they “broke with tradition” and released “an unusual statement” where six nations’ leaders announced they were reaffirming the Paris climate agreement – without America’s involvement. The “G6” communique read:

“The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics. Understanding this process, the Heads of State and of Government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom and the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement.”

It is noteworthy that it is not just this author’s opinion, or that of Chancellor Angela Merkel, that Trump is rushing headlong into an isolationist stance and alienating our allies along the way. According to a former American envoy to NATO and current director of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Ivo H. Daalder:

This seems to be the end of an era, one in which the United States led and Europe followed, Today, the United States is heading into a direction on key issues that seems diametrically opposite of where Europe is heading. Merkel’s comments are an acknowledgment of that new reality.

This is ‘America first’ — a policy focused on narrow self-interest — and abandons the idea that the best way to enhance our security and prosperity is by having strong allies and leading globally in pursuit of common values and interests.” (author bold)

Only the stalwart Trump zealots and nativistic isolationists would consider Trump’s acts and speech to leaders of NATO countries and the G7 group either appropriate or constructive; they were neither. Instead, “ugly American” Trump earned the scorn of both NATO and G7 leaders and did what he’s done since his sparsely-attended inauguration; insulted America’s allies, alienated America and embarrassed Americans. Only a pig-headed American like Trump would consider those accomplishments a success.