Trump is doing more to divide the Western Alliance than the Kremlin

Loyalty is a trait Trump demands from everyone whether they are in his family, his criminal enterprise, American citizens, or leaders of America’s allies and trading partners. Of course, in Trump’s tiny narcissistic mind, loyalty entails abject obedience and perpetual praise for the aspiring dictator no matter the issue. Anyone falling short of what Trump considers loyalty soon finds themself on the receiving end of his typically vindictive nature and that includes leaders of sovereign nations Americans have called allies and partners for decades, if not generations.

As one might expect, NATO members are rightfully concerned that Trump’s upcoming visit will be a repeat of the G7 debacle just a month ago. Like that economic “summit,” Trump will depart from meeting with America’s allies and rush into the waiting arms of a tyrannical dictator – his favorite ruler Vladimir Putin. Putin would love nothing more than to learn directly from Trump that he succeeded  in alienating NATO members and weakening the “Western Alliance.” It is abominable that instead of displaying any loyalty to America’s historical allies, Trump has done little else but provoke our friends in an effort to please a hostile foreign leader.

Trump is desperate to please and display loyalty to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for what appears to be purely pecuniary reasons. Subsequently, since even before his poorly attended inauguration, dirty Don has “pleased” Putin beyond the dirty Ruskie’s wildest dream. Putin’s long sought-after dream is fracturing the Western Alliance made up of the European Union and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); it is the only way Putin can assert Russian authority over Europe to match the former Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. Trump has given every indication that one of his primary foreign policy goals includes helping Putin realize his dream with divisive attacks and comments targeting America’s allies; all under the guise of making America great by being disloyal to its friends, and all because they fail to obey Trump’s outrageous demands or praise him like a messiah.

Trump has attacked NATO members for not spending enough on their militaries, started a trade war with the bloc by levying punitive tariffs, abandoned international deals on climate change and Iran’s nuclear program, and refused to sign the typically-uncontroversial G-7 statement last month. He’s also publicly condemned a sovereign nation’s leader and close ally, Angela Merkel, because she refuses to enact Trump-like barbaric immigration policies. In addition, he has  reportedly pushed French President Emmanuel Macron to do Putin’s bidding and weaken “the Alliance” by asking the French leader, “Why don’t you leave the European Union?”

It is likely that because Russia handed out financial incentives to the right-wing malcontent behind the so-called “Brexit” movement, Trump decided to contribute to fracturing the Western Alliance by levying punitive tariffs against America’s allies and trading partners; anything to aid Putin break apart the only thing preventing him from annexing all of Europe. Remember, Putin only invaded and confiscated Crimea from Ukraine because it is not a NATO member-nation.

It is noteworthy that abandoning any one of the international deals with America’s democratic allies had nothing to do with how much NATO member nations spend on their own military. But those acts are contributing to Putin’s longstanding goal of ripping apart the so-called “Western Alliance.” It is why a renowned political analyst and Russian exile working at the Hudson Institute,  Andrei Piontkovsky said:

Putting these events together creates a moment of truth. All NATO countries are worried about it [Trump’s belligerence toward the EU]. For the Eastern members, this is a matter of life and death. Trump is doing more to divide the West and weaken NATO than the Kremlin itself. Trump is the ideal U.S. president for Putin.”

Mr. Piontkovsky’s statement could not possibly be more accurate and it goes beyond Trump’s claim that he is only going after NATO members because “they owe us money.” That excuse may work on Trump’s dirt-dumb acolytes, but any half-wit understands NATO members do not owe, or have to pay, America as a condition of NATO membership.  It is  likely that those same Trump supporters are unaware that there is only one instance of NATO members invoking Article 5 to defend a member who was attacked. The “common defense” clause commits all members to protect each other and generally sets a spirit of solidarity within the Alliance, not the price of membership.

After a criminal gang hijacked passenger aircraft and flew them into American buildings, the Alliance’s members committed, and followed through, to protect America by joining its never-ending war in Afghanistan. It is noteworthy that those NATO countries never called on America to pay for  receiving “protection;” it is what real loyalty and commitment looks like and is something Trump will never acknowledge or understand.

It is bad enough that Trump has no loyalty to his own country and that he has made ending whatever “spirit of solidarity” as Americans this country may have once enjoyed. But that is the price Americans have to pay for electing an aspiring dictator whose idea of loyalty is abject obedience. No matter how badly Trump rips America apart, it does not represent an existential threat to this nation’s most valuable allies and trading partners. His hostility and punitive actions against the European Union and NATO countries, however, if successful, will give Vladimir Putin exactly what he expected when he put his puppet in the White House – a willing servant devoted to dismantling the only thing preventing Russian expansion in Europe.

 

Trump Signs Secret Pact With Israel To “Deal With Iran”

It is no revelation that a fair number of Republicans have dreamed of a “substantial” war with Iran going back to 1979 when the Islamic population chose its own government. Imperialist regimes always have problems when sovereign nations reject foreign domination, and America’s conservatives are still angry the leader they installed in Iran was sent packing and the Ayatollah became Iran’s Supreme Leader. Add to that simmering anger the Republicans’ devotion to executing the demands of a foreigner who dreams of America waging war on Iran and any idea of peace in the region looks bleak at best.

Because Republicans control the entire government, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a devoted puppy in the White House, it was just a matter of time before the Israeli leader exercised his authority to set American Middle East (war) policy. It was something he enjoyed during the Bush administration where he successfully directed George W. Bush  to attack and invade Iraq. He missed having that awesome authority during President Barack Obama’s tenure and it informs his willingness to humiliate himself by pandering to Trump’s narcissism and assuming a man-crush on an honest-to-dog moron.

Now Netanyahu is imposing his will and flexing his American puppet’s muscle and setting the stage for the war Steve Bannon, most Republicans and some Israeli-Democrats want American soldiers to engage in on Israel’s behalf. Trump is an ignorant buffoon who needs a new distraction so he is obviously doing his best to satisfy his Middle East war policy advisor Netanyahu – at least as long as good old “Bibi” continues stroking Trump’s ego.

According to Israel’s Channel 10 News, Trump and Israeli “officials reached a highly secretive closed-door cooperation agreement on how to deal with Iran” a couple of weeks ago.  The “Times of Israel” reported that the “deal” was signed at the White House on December 12 with the specific aim of countering Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. The “agreement” is being touted as “translating Trump’s decertifying the Iran deal into steps [boots] on the ground.

An Israeli official commented on the purpose of the “highly secretive” agreement thus:

“The U.S. and Israel see eye to eye the different developments in the region and especially those connected to Iran. We reached at (sic) understandings (sic) regarding the strategy and the policy needed to counter Iran. Our understandings deal with the overall strategy but also with concrete goals, way of action and the means which need to be used to get obtain (sic) those goals.”

Most of the world believed that any “developments connected to Iran” were adequately dealt with two years ago by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed upon by Iran and the so-called P5+1 nations (America, United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and Germany). Trump and Netanyahu refuse to acknowledge the validity of a major deal with the world’s leading powers and Iran because it did not plan for American military action against the Islamic Republic.

It is important to note that when Trump refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the P5+1 nations, he did so despite confirmation from all the parties involved that Iran was in total compliance with conditions of the agreement. As noted here, even the “Iran nuclear deal’s critics in Congress said it was in the best interest of all parties to stay in the deal” and they were not alone by any means.

For example, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is responsible for verifying whether Iran has been in compliance and that organization reported just prior to Trump’s decertification that “Iran has been fulfilling the commitments it entered into” under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). That “official agency” confirmation was in addition to American intelligence agencies, America’s top military brass, Israeli intelligence, and Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary who all verified and assured Trump that “there is no evidence that Iran has violated the terms of the deal.”

Still, no matter how many times he has been told Iran is fully compliant with the terms of the JCPOA, Trump is fulfilling months-long rumors that a war with Iran is in the near future. That Trump made a “closed-door” secret agreement with Israel to “deal with Iran” to “translate decertifying the Iran deal into steps on the ground” is fairly telling about the warmongers’ intent.

Apparently, the rumors that Trump would make a move in October or November to expedite a conflict with Iran were not rumors after all. Decertifying the Iran deal in October and then entering into a secret agreement a mere month later to “deal with Iran” was part of a strategy to start a conflict. Moreover, it appears the strategy has been in the works since before Trump’s poorly attended inauguration.

Remember, Steve Bannon promised very early in Trump’s tenure that America would have to be at war with Iran prior to starting a war in the South China Sea.  It is noteworthy that a war with Iran will not only sate the neo-con warmongers in Trump’s administration, it will satisfy the demands of the military industrial complex for more wars to sell more weapons. However, the primary purpose of decertifying Iranian compliance and making a secret pact is to satisfy Netanyahu’s demand that America wages war against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As a brief aside, it is important to note that Iran has never attacked or invaded any nation in over 240 years; something Israel can never claim in its short 69 year existence. And yet America under Trump and Israel are promoting the Islamic Republic as an aggressor that needs to be “dealt with.

It should not surprise anyone that Trump signed a secret pact with Israel “to deal with Iran.” It is fairly obvious that because the official  P5+1 Nations’ “deal with Iran” did not give Netanyahu the American attack and invasion of Iran he wants, Trump stepped up to do the foreigner’s bidding. Trump wants to show Netanyahu that he will use American military might to “deal with Iran” the same way Israel deals with Palestinian civilians.

Only an idiot doesn’t believe that “deal with Iran” is not-so-subtle code for “start a war with Iran” to assure Netanyahu that with a Republican controlled government, Israel effectively controls America’s Middle East war policy. With a willing sycophant in the White House and an obedient Republican majority in Congress, it appears that going forward Netanyahu will determine which majority Muslim nation America wages war on.

Image: Evan Vucci

Under Trump America Goes From World Leader to Banana Republic 

On Christmas eve conservative pundit William “Bill” Kristol made it clear that in its current iteration, the Republican Party he identifies with has become a cult of personality worthy of a banana republic. Kristol didn’t mention Trump by name, but he almost certainly was projecting his abhorrence of Trump on the entire GOP; a surprising development for a dyed-in-the-wool conservative but an apt projection all the same.

It is true the Republican Party is taking the country back to the 1920’s long before America became a global leader and was hardly a world super power, but even during the Great Depression when the filthy rich became incredibly wealthier, America was hardly considered a banana republic. All that changed less than a century later.

Whatever leadership role America enjoyed prior to Trump’s poorly attended inauguration is now just a memory despite what Trump claims. World leaders are well aware that although America has military might, and is a rapidly waning economic force, its influence globally is second-rate at best; in many areas it is nothing more than an irritating spectator.

Instead of leading on addressing climate change, America under Trump is watching China “assume the leadership mantle,” and subsequently the economic prosperity that will accompany it. And as the Los Angeles Times noted, “Russia has taken over Syrian peace negotiations that Moscow officials only allowed America to attend as observers.”

Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) look to Germany and France for leadership since Trump has isolated America from even its allies and trading partners. And speaking of international trade, America is now a global trade outlier and any number of American industries are living proof that Trump’s big mouth and isolationism kills American businesses.

This is an issue because Trump gave his assessment of America’s place on the global stage during a speech last week that is as far from reality as the Earth is from the edge of the observable universe. (Roughly 46.6 billion light years)

Trump claims that since January there has been a never-before-seen “broadening of U.S. influence throughout the world.” It is an odd assertion even for a buffoon like Trump; particularly since his executive actions since January are the sole force behind America ceding its global leadership role.

That is the consensus opinion of international leaders, diplomats, and foreign policy experts who contend that Trump is guilty of “reducing U.S. influence or altering it in ways that are less constructive on a broad range of policy issues.” In fact, what those leaders and critics actually say is that “Trump has taken positions that disqualify the United States from the debate or rendered it irrelevant on that ‘broad range of policy issues.’”

This is a serious issue because no matter what horrors Republicans are in the process of unleashing on Americans, Trump represents an existential threat because besides the insanity of isolationism in a truly global era, America under Trump is dangerously unreliable and untrustworthy to the rest of the world.

In India, a nation Trump has not attacked yet, the leaders are like most sane human beings concerned about ‘Trump’s unpredictability” and doubt that he can be trusted “as a reliable partner;” especially with his rush towards isolationism. Manoj Joshi is a scholar at a New Delhi think tank, Observer Research Foundation, who fairly summed up what the rest of the planet knows about Trump.

The president Trump can and does turn things inside out. So the chances that the U.S. works along a coherent and credible national security strategy are not very high.

Nicholas Burns, a long-serving senior diplomat under both Republican and Democratic administrations said Trump’s strategy, or lack thereof, “has left the U.S. ineffective.” Mr. Burns continued by remarking on an issue many critics have warned about to no avail; a weak and aimless Department of State.

“Trump needs a strong State Department to implement its strategy. Instead, State and the Foreign Service are being weakened and often sidelined. Trump’s policy of the last 12 months is a radical departure from every president since WWII. Trump is weak on NATO, Russia, trade, climate, diplomacy. The U.S. is declining as a global leader.”

What seems to be the final straw for nearly the entire world of nations was Trump’s gift to Benjamin Netanyahu that eliminates any opportunity for a “two-state” solution. The only people Trump “delighted” by formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital were many Israelis.  Trump incited rage in the Muslim world, wiped out decades of “international consensus” on a peaceful Palestine-Israeli resolution, and incurred the wrath of “an overwhelming majority of the U.N. General Assembly.

As most of the world understands, Trump unilaterally eliminated America as “an honest broker in mediating peace by clearly siding with Israel.” As many world leaders have noted, “From now on it is out of the question for a biased United States to be a mediator between Israel and Palestine; that period is over.”

A former U.S. ambassador to both Israel and Egypt under Presidents Clinton and Bush, Daniel Kurtzer, said  that any peaceful resolution in the Middle East  “won’t be from American policy. Trump took America out of the peace process for the foreseeable future.”

There is probably a detailed list of the myriad ways Trump single-handedly diminished American influence globally, but the real horror is that he accomplished that feat in less than a year. America is going to be in trouble going forward just on the basis of Trump’s isolationism and withdrawal from trade agreements and never-ending threats against our allies and United Nations member nations for daring to disagree with Trump. Add to that prospect the Republican Congress’ well-laid plans to wipe out the government and create an impoverished population; it is no longer a question of “if” America is a banana republic, but when the entire world recognizes what it is and turns against it.

Image: Matt Rotman

Trump’s State Department Poses a Grave National Security Threat

It is a travesty that one man has swiftly tarnished America’s reputation on the world stage, but it is increasingly apparent that it is part of Trump’s plan to isolate America from the rest of the civilized world.

An integral element of Trump’s isolationism plan is dismantling the country’s ability to conduct foreign affairs with other nations without inciting new tensions or inflaming long-simmering hostilities. So it is little surprise that Trump’s oil industry CEO is actively dismantling the one agency tasked with “skillfully conducting relations with other nations” without arousing animosity or increasing enmity – the Department of State.

No sane human being could keep a straight face and say Donald Trump understands or embraces the concept of diplomacy, even on a rudimentary level. In fact, Trump is the embodiment of a rude and abrasive bully that makes enemies at the rate most people use a toilet. That lack of appreciation for the art of existing in a complex, and often antagonistic, world without being in a constant state of aggression epitomizes Donald Trump and belies his so-called “deal-making” acumen. It also explains why Rex Tillerson is purging the Department of State of highly-qualified career Foreign Service professionals that are one of the most valuable assets in keeping America safe, and the world from a perpetual state of war.

The New York Times reported late last week that long-serving diplomats are finally speaking out about Vladimir Putin’s love interest Rex Tillerson and the wholesale purge going on at the State Department. In an August Los Angeles Times article it was reported that “current and former State Department officials say it appears that one goal in the current reorganization is to reduce staff by attrition, what one critic called ‘death by a thousand cuts.’”

Apparently there is not a question of Tillerson’s motive in decimating the diplomatic positions en masse; “experts have been aware of Tillerson’s plot to destroy the State Department from the inside for months.”

For an idea how little Tillerson, as surrogate for Trump, thinks of America’s diplomats or their safety, it is worth noting how he disregards congressional legislation regarding how the Department functions. Despite Congress passing legislation in 2012 mandating that the top State Department security official have unrestricted access to Tillerson, he spent the first nine months in office refusing to meet with the State Department’s chief of security, Bill A. Miller. The New York Times reported that during those first nine months Tillerson turned down repeated, including urgent, requests from Miller and security staff to brief him according to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security officials.

The only way the top security guy, Mr. Miller, could be “allowed to speak to Mr. Tillerson” was after he forced the issue by citing the letter of the law and the requirement that he had to be given ‘unrestricted access’ to the country’s head diplomat, Tillerson. Miller was eventually “granted” just five minutes in Tillerson’s presence; despite the congressional mandate of “unrestricted access.”

Shortly thereafter, the career Foreign Service officer and chief of security was “pushed out” of the State Department. Mr. Miller joined a veritable parade of the State Department’s most senior diplomats as part of Tillerson’s “downsizing” effort. Instead of going quietly like Miller, other “departing” diplomats are making their sentiments, and concerns about the fate of the nation, a public issue. The diplomats speaking out may have had an impact on members of Congress who are raising their own questions about why Trump and Tillerson are “intentionally hollowing-out” the senior diplomatic ranks and “weakening” America on the global stage in the process.

Last week  the House Foreign Relations Committee issued a letter to Tillerson citingwhat they said was “the exodus of more than 100 senior Foreign Service officers from the State Department since January.” In the letter, Democrats expressed their concern about  “the intentional hollowing-out of our senior diplomatic ranks.” (author bold)

Members of the Senate also noticed that Tillerson was “deconstructing” America’s diplomatic corps at a time the nation can least afford to appear weakened or unwilling to discourse without using Twitter insults. In a bipartisan effort, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent Tillerson a letter similar to the House version expressing their concern. They warned the Putin-ally Tillerson that:

America’s diplomatic power is being weakened internally as complex global crises are growing externally.”

Most likely members of Congress are acutely aware that Trump has no intent in using America’s vanishing “diplomatic power” to deal with any international issues, much less “complex global crises;” he has a smart phone and a Twitter app.  Trump makes bizarre and offensive pronouncements and blatant threats as willingly as he pulls America out of international agreements; he has no use for diplomacy.

Tillerson has been on a dangerous  tear pushing senior diplomats out with no intent on replacing them since he assumed control; almost certainly under orders from Trump. In fact, about a month ago former Secretary of State, Republican Colin Powell warnedthe Trump administration that gutting the State Department posed a grave national security threat. Trump’s national security advisor told Mr. Powell the “purge” was because senior diplomats were “people who did not support the president’s agenda;” like conducting foreign policy matters through Twitter. Trump said at the time that he didn’t need diplomats because “I am the only one that matters.” He also said he wasn’t sure if he even needed Rex Tillerson; an ominous sign that an even more serious State Department purge could be in the offing.

Remember, in August Trump thanked his and Tillerson’s love interest Vladimir Putin for “cutting the diplomatic staff in Moscow” when he expelled 750 diplomats; Trump said they were not going to be replaced. It is also noteworthy that in keeping with Trump’s enmity towards women and minorities, disproportionate numbers of diplomats being “pushed out” are women and people of color. And Tillerson has not nominated anyone to fill any of the 34 top political positions still vacant at the State Department.

It is no secret that Trump’s intent for the government is dismantling as much of it as he can legally get away with; his various cabinet and agency appointees are sworn enemies of the departments they control. And despite how dangerous it is to suffer an administration openly dedicated to “deconstructing the administrative state,”  it is perilous beyond words to have a White House occupant directing his Secretary of State to deliberately destroy American “diplomatic power” from within.

It leaves one to ponder if Tillerson is, like Trump, doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding by reducing America’s diplomatic power, or if diplomatic solutions to  global issues are completely off the table in Trump’s America.  No matter what their motivation, Trump and Tillerson have transformed the State Department into a grave national security threat because according to Trump, he’s the only one that matters.

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.