America First? Or America Alone?

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With the resignation of Nikki Haley as the US Ambassador to the UN, it is time to reflect upon the state of the US foreign policy under Donald Trump. First, congratulations to Nikki Haley for her efforts at the most difficult job of representing this nation's suddenly altered foreign policy on the largest international stage available. She did an admirable job of trying to convert otherwise unintelligible tweets (covfefe anyone?) into a coherent set of talking points for discussion at the UN. Even when she was patronized by other White House officials, she stood her ground.

 

Theodore Roosevelt was famous for his maxim: Speak softly, and carry a big stick. Although he has not codified his policy to date, Donald Trump's equivalent statement would be: Carry a big stick, remind everyone loudly and repeatedly that you carry it, and threaten repeatedly to use that stick if you don't get your way. That's one heck of a foreign policy, certainly one that hasn't come from a US President for a very long time. Along with the vocal and twitter pyrotechnics, go out and meet foreign dictators in person, and claim victories for your policies even though the foreign dictators make zero real concessions. Oh, and send your son-in-law out to solve the Palestinian problem, while backing the Saudi administration since they did such a wonderful job of feting you on your visit to their country. You know, the Saudi administration that is still prosecuting an endless war against Yemen (with our weaponry - don't you feel proud to see how effective our armaments are?). The Saudi administration accused of murdering one of its critics at its Turkish consulate in Istanbul? Yes, they will be wonderful allies in assisting with solving the Palestinian problem that has been intractable ever since the formation of the country of Israel in 1948.

 

Of course, everyone else in the world must recognize the absolute wonderfulness of the US, and feel honored to do business with us. In fact, trade is a privilege that we can and will withdraw even from our longest-standing and strongest allies if their leaders dare to diss our leader. Thus we have the image of Donald Trump loudly calling for the evisceration of Justin Trudeau after Trump left the G7 conference early, when Trudeau dared to say that Canada would not be bullied. How Dare He Put Canada First! Everyone in the world knows it is America First! Thus Donald exemplified his first principle of foreign relations in his administration - I am the state, and if I'm unhappy, everyone will be unhappy. And your country will pay the price.

 

One of the largest problems the US faces over the next few decades will be the escalating tensions between the US and China over economic and military matters. And since the Trans Pacific Partnership was intended to form a group of nations pledging to use common trade as a way to keep China contained, of course Donald Trump welcomed the arrangement even though it was developed before his inauguration. WRONG-OH! Come on now, a multi-national agreement negotiated by Obama? That's two of Donald Trump's bête noires in one single agreement. That didn't even survive two days of the Trump administration. Likewise, NAFTA was repeatedly denounced and the terms were renegotiated with both Canada and Mexico.

 

Now, nearly two years after the administration repudiated decades of trade policies, what successes does the Trump administration have to show? Well, there's a joint agreement with Korea. And we have rebranded NAFTA into USMCA, which tinkered around the edges of NAFTA but didn't dismantle the basic structure. Just think what we could have done had we begun a process to renegotiate NAFTA under a banner of cooperation, instead of threatening massive tariffs if our demands were not met.

 

Did I say tariffs? The signal economic accomplishment of this administration has been the implementation of protective tariffs against most of the rest of the world. This, of course, is in line with the belief of this administration that the country to whom the tariffs apply are the ones who pay the tariffs, thus exporting our payment of tariffs to other governments and countries. Oh wait! You mean that's not how it works? You mean it is the customer within our country that has to pay the tariffs, and then they have to decide whether to eat the tariff cost themselves, thus reducing profits, or add the tariff cost to their finished good cost, thus raising prices to the American public? And not only that, the other countries can retaliate and apply tariffs of their own on US exports, thus making our products less competitive and reducing the demand for US exports. Boy, it is such a good thing that trade wars are easy to win.

 

Well, let's move on from the economic sphere and enter the world of diplomacy. The success of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State will long be remembered as a high point in this administration's efforts. The close relationship between Trump and Tillerson was reflected in the high prestige that the State Department is held within this administration. Oh, Darn! You mean I've got it wrong again? Trump fired Tillerson via twitter? And his replacement, Mike Pompeo, is still awaiting many ambassador and other senior State Department officials to be named and confirmed by the Senate? Well, at least the lack of qualified and experienced personnel in the State Department has not caused the standing of our nation to decline in the eyes of the rest of the world. Oh, wait. You mean that the ambassadors of the world had the audacity to openly laugh at our President as he spoke at the UN General Assembly? Did they not get the memo that this administration has restored our swagger and caused the rest of the world to once more fear American power?

 

I could go on and on with the signal accomplishments of this President and his administration in their activities outside of the US borders. Perhaps the best compliment I can give them is that the success they have had in their international activities is on a par with the success they have had on implementing their family separation program at our southern border. There we saw a totally amateur effort aimed at displaying a tough man bravura against illegal immigration, while totally ignoring the logistics and information systems needed to process and track families that were forcibly separated. After all, when ignorance and disdain for expertise forms the core of an administration, one expects incompetence in one area to be matched by incompetence in others. And so far, this administration has an almost perfect record of incompetence.

 

Good thing our leader is so humble and gracious.

 

Posted first on my blog at https://evenabrokenclock.blog/

Comments

The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 12, 2018 - 12:01pm
Still letting space rent free for Trump in your head I see. That's okay.
 
America alone Clock. We are. We have been for some time. When the chips fall friend nobody else has our back but.....???? Who? Us. And this has nothing to do with who sits in the oval office. Most of the rest of the world is driven on the politics of envy, as regularly practiced by American progressives.  It's one massive orgy of schadenfreude out there, all of them greedy to pick on the bones of the late untied states of america. We should be completely disengaged from any and all alliances and worry about taking care of ourselves. That is the best foreign policy and no president from either party, Trump included, is going to do it. There are too many moneyed interests, both domestic and international, than will allow a rapid reversal of policy, like trying to turn a large ship on a dime: it can't be done. It is going to take time to get us disentangled. I'd like to see it; don't believe we ever will
George N Romey Added Oct 12, 2018 - 1:01pm
A WB poster tried to claim in another article that Western culture wasn't into wars and violence, including our willingness to bomb the living hell out of people that don't see things our way.  So stupid was this statement I sprayed coffee through my nose laughing over someone saying something so brainless.
 
In fact I'll probably write a piece about it.  America First isn't something new or created by Trump.  John Wayne blasting the hell out of some so called enemy (for which we were never told exactly why they were the enemy) was around long before Trump came hurling out of his mother's vagina.
 
That's the problem with you Trump naysayers.  They think he's some kind of original form of evil and hyperbole.  He's nothing more than repackaged propaganda that's been around since 1776.  
Ian Thorpe Added Oct 12, 2018 - 1:17pm
I'll cover your schadenfreude and raise you a welstschmerz Burghal.
Trump's hirings and firings aside (I think he just likes pointing that finger and saying, "You're fired,") I see little difference between Foreign Policy under Trump and under Obama. The same deep state players have shaped policy under both as they did under President Dubya . The discernable difference is superficial, just a different kind of swagger. While Trump's bombastic style was familiar before he took a direct interest in politics, Obama's "I'se de Prez'dent ob de universe an' ev'yting else besides" Richard Pryor type schtick and preaching about American exceptionalism (to Europe) and gay rights (to poor African nations but not to Saudi Arabia - wonder why?) was see by many as ridiculous. Putin and former French President Sarkozy thought he was a childbrain.
Where the weltschmerz comes in is I get the feeling a lot of America's current social divisions are due to the promised golden age having slipped from future to past without actually touching the present.
George N Romey Added Oct 12, 2018 - 1:34pm
Ian said perfectly.  The elusive empire beating up on the little people around the world was well into swing before Trump did his escalator act of 2015.  Trump just continues to traditional of murdering people for their own (alleged) good.
Dino Manalis Added Oct 12, 2018 - 1:37pm
 America first is fine, but we should work with allies and others to get things done internationally.  America is not a rogue state and ought not be isolated!  America is a superpower and has to act like it!
Ken Added Oct 12, 2018 - 2:16pm
I see little difference between Foreign Policy under Trump and under Obama.
 
Willful blindness or just naive?
 
There is a stark difference between the two. Obama allowed Russia to claim resources in international waters in the arctic ocean.  The Obama administration allowed China to build Islands and claim territory in the shipping lanes of the south china sea.  Obama allowed russia to annex Crimea, did nothing about Ukraine, did nothing about Georgia.  The Obama administration interfered in the Israeli election trying to oust Netenyahu.  The Obama administration created and ignored ISIS.  The Obama administration turned a blind eye to DPRK missile tests and nuclear tests. The Obama administration put Iran on a path to building a bomb and keeping the mullahs in power.  The Obama administration was a laughing stock around the world - as I have pointed out from links to quotes from multiple world leaders in other comments
 
Trump has done virtually the opposite.  Sanctioned Russia.  Sanctioned and tariffed china to stop their aggression and economic theft.  Rejected the Iran nuclear deal.  On top of that, they have DPRK and ROK talking to each other and maybe even peace and denuclearization on the horizon.  Trump has armed Ukraine rather than just giving them MRE.  Actually fulfilling our promise we made to them when we promised to protect them if they denuclearized.  Trump has moved the Israeli embassy to their actual capital prompting several other countries to do so as well (and look, none of the predicted violent reaction occurred!).  Trump is finally forcing Europe to defend themselves and pay for it rather than living off of American largess.  World leaders actually respect him - some even fear him as our enemies should.  The Trump administration has all but wiped out ISIS.
 
There couldn't be a more stark difference in foreign policy.
 
 
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 12, 2018 - 4:41pm
Burghal - as you probably know, writing helps to free your mind from what is bothering it. So I will continue to do both political pieces and a mix of other pieces as I am moved.
 
Saying that we have no one to fall back on for help except for us is disingenuous at best. We did have many strong allies that were there for us when needed. Yes, some of them underinvested in their own defense. But a policy of deliberately insulting and denigrating our long-time allies and sucking up to autocratic regimes around the world has lost us much of the support we used to take for granted. All that is missing now is the loss of the reserve currency status, and you will see living standards in this nation take a nose dive. And everything that Trump is doing is convincing folks that they need to build an economic infrastructure that excludes the US.  Ironically, it may be the fallout from the renewed Iran sanctions that will set this into motion. Unintended consequences, you see.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 12, 2018 - 4:48pm
George - I would maintain that the America first mentality had its high water mark in the 1930's leading up to WWII. People like Charles Lindbergh gave voice to the strain of isolationism that was present in the Republican party at the time. Since WWII, it has been the ascendency of the multi-lateral organizations that have prevented large-scale warfare like the type seen in the '40's. Some of the organizations have been more successful. Others like the UN are mired in dysfunction due to their own structure and politics.
 
The role of the US military in the world does need to be reduced. But it needs to be reduced based upon a coherent strategy, not by random acts of what passes for diplomacy in the current administration. By giving voice and power to the John Birch wing of the American political movement, DJT has unleashed the passion of those who discount all of the successes we've had in keeping the (relative) peace and maintaining economic supremacy.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 12, 2018 - 4:54pm
Ian - I may disagree with your assessment of Obama's foreign policy, but think you have an excellent point about the promised golden age having slipped from future to past without touching the present.
 
That happened for the US in the 1990's when we reaped the benefits of the end of the Cold War. But instead of a deliberate attempt at re-ordering of the world to deal with the influx of new workers available for multi-national corporations, we instead walked in our sleep through most of that decade. The de-industrialization of the heartland accelerated during that period when China gained membership in the ITC, while at the same time the US decided to stop with the balanced budget and cut taxes.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 12, 2018 - 4:56pm
Dino - you've said it well. We cannot go it alone because once everyone else gangs up on us, the only tool we have left is our military might. And we don't want ever to be guilty of unleashing its might upon the rest of the world. Civilization could not survive that.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 12, 2018 - 4:59pm
Ken - sometimes I wonder what world you live in. Then I realize that the soothing voices of the right wing media complex do work at eliminating any serious critical thought.  You may believe that certain of the world's leaders considered Obama ill-informed and his tactics wrong. But you have the audio and visual confirmation that under Trump, the laughter is real and they are laughing at him (and by extension, us), not with him.
Ken Added Oct 12, 2018 - 5:59pm
The right-wing media complex?  And you wonder what world I live in?  That is simply delusional.
James Travil Added Oct 12, 2018 - 6:01pm
Nikki Haley was a terrible example of a "human". She was a neocon warmonger psychopath who worked tirelessly to bring about WWIII, we (the sane among us at least) can all sleep a little bit easier with that mad women gone. She will certainly NOT be missed, good riddance! 
James Travil Added Oct 12, 2018 - 6:53pm
My thoughts exactly regarding Nikki Haley: “Empire Loyalists Grieve Resignation Of Moderate Psychopath Nikki Haley” https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/empire-loyalists-grieve-resignation-of-moderate-psychopath-nikki-haley-9412f6444421
 
John Minehan Added Oct 12, 2018 - 7:07pm
The problem with the PRC is that our tariffs don't effect them much, they really want to start unwinding our relationship and have been slowly doing that since 2008.   We have some room to renegotiate trade with the EU, Canada and Mexico, but could have gotten further with fewer threats.
 
This won't end well. 
Thomas Sutrina Added Oct 12, 2018 - 8:36pm
For some reason your telling us that Trump's foreign policy is worse then Obama, G. W. Bush, Clinton, G. H. Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman, F. D. Roosevelt, Hoover, Coolidge, Harding, Wilson, Taft, and T. Roosevelt.  I do not think so.  How many wars occurred during the period of my presidents' list?  How may proclamation were pie in the sky compared to the facts?   How many economic cycles have the world seen? 
 
When you choose to put anything that happened before March 2017 in a fog then your description seem accurate.  Blow away the fog and your silly.  History also tells us that many time it takes a decade or more to reap what was sowed decades earlier.   
Thomas Sutrina Added Oct 12, 2018 - 8:42pm
The resignation of Nikki Haley as the US Ambassador to the UN shows why she was so successful.  Trump has sowed a lot of seed around the world.  In the second have as you suggested some of that seed will be ready to reap.  And as we know weeds clog up the reaper.  Nikki Haley doesn't want to be the person dealing with the weeds.   Not that I am not saying that Trump will have any more or any worse weeds then his predecessors.  There will be a lot of weeds if the Democrats take over a house of Congress.  The UN will not be the focus of Congress but foreign policy will not escape the effect.  
Bill H. Added Oct 12, 2018 - 9:54pm
 
Trump had issues with Nikki Haley because she actually expressed opinions and took actions based on her thoughts and reasoning, rather than Trump's idiotic reactive commands.
I'm surprised she stuck it out as long as she did based on others in his administration who left early for the same reasons.
The only reason Trump hired her was because she was attractive.
I wonder if he ever grabbed her by the Pussy?
I'm sure that was his main goal.
 
Ken Added Oct 12, 2018 - 10:15pm
 Trump had issues with Nikki Haley because she actually expressed opinions and took actions based on her thoughts and reasoning, rather than Trump's idiotic reactive commands.
 
Prove it

I'm surprised she stuck it out as long as she did based on others in his administration who left early for the same reasons.
 
Prove it

The only reason Trump hired her was because she was attractive.
 
Prove it

I wonder if he ever grabbed her by the Pussy?
 
Disgusting slander.
 
According to both of them, this was known months ago because of what she had been doing for so many years she needed a break between Governor and UN.  It didn't leak because only the 2 of them were aware, but she informed him months ago.
 
She has been the best UN Ambassador since Jeanne Kirkpatrick
 
Your TDS gets more and more disgusting as you refuse to acknowledge ANYTHING positive.  And to say "well there is nothing positive" is absolutely absurd.  As much as I despised Obama, I could still come out and credit him in the few times he was on the right side of an issue.
 
You and several others here are so emotionally invested in the hate you have you cannot do anything but destroy.
 
This is why the left is absolutely falling apart and has NO credibility.  This is why we are actually looking at a red wave in the senate at this point.
 
Your mind is SO closed it is really sad.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 12, 2018 - 10:16pm
Clock,
If tariffs work to reduce American consumerism, I'm for them.  Having the dollar as the world's reserve currency is bad for Americans, because it creates an artificial demand for dollars and reduces buying power at home.
 
Neither Republicans nor Democrats want to address out-of-control federal spending.  They continue to promulgate the absurd notion that government spending stimulates "the economy."  Wrong.  Government spending makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, by funneling money into private contractors and bureaucracy.  I guarantee your alma mater benefited mightily from government contracts, as does Wall Street generally.
 
That's what happens when you have a secret, private, for-profit banking cartel in charge of the debt-backed money supply.
 
Ken Added Oct 12, 2018 - 10:37pm
They continue to promulgate the absurd notion that government spending stimulates "the economy."  Wrong. 
 
That is the problem with Keynsian economics.  The austrian school of economics (put forth prominently by Milton Friedman) has been proven correct time after time.  Spending isn't the answer to every or even most problems.
Bill H. Added Oct 13, 2018 - 1:16am
Ken - If you want to only read what makes you comfortable, go back to Breitbart, InfoWars, or your other ERW programming sites and soak up the comfort.
Dealing with other opinions and truth that you don't agree with is a bitch, isn't it!
Flying Junior Added Oct 13, 2018 - 2:09am
Nikki Haley did an admirable job of translating upon the world stage not just the misguided world view of conservatives in general, but projecting that vision under the psychotic purview of the monster.
 
I nominate her to be the most rational American conservative of the new millenium.
 
It's a damn shame that Trump couldn't at the least take a few cues from Ms. Haley instead of just being the same, idiotic, pig-headed clown upon the world stage that he has always been.
wsucram15 Added Oct 13, 2018 - 2:36am
That would be 52 people give or take a name or two since Trump took office that have left either by resignation or by being fired in his close orbit.
Im out on whether I liked Haley or not, however, she did take a stance or two I am sure was VERY unpopular with Trump.  Anyone who stands up to him is ok in my book.  But I do not know enough about her positions to make further judgements.
I think Trumps largest screw-up (in this area only) was Tillerson. I didnt like him much going in but he actually took his job seriously and could have mended many bridges.  Any hope I had for the US or the people of the US, was gone after he left and continues to dwindle with each resignation.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Oct 13, 2018 - 3:15am
Haley is a card carrying CFR globalist. An enemy of the people. 
Leroy Added Oct 13, 2018 - 4:02am
"The only reason Trump hired her was because she was attractive."
 
Hold on there, Bill.  You said he was a racist.  Now why would he hire someone of Indian descent if he were a racist, even if she were attractive?
Flying Junior Added Oct 13, 2018 - 4:53am
The first crazy fuck who I ever heard ranting about CFR guys was the father of my friend who died in 1996 from complications of drugs administered in a mental hospital at the age of 37.
 
Reality check.  The Council on Foreign Relations has no more power than their publication, Foreign Affairs magazine allows them as a political voice.  Buy a copy before a twelve hour flight in the airport if you wish to nod off.  Wonky, way too detailed information.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 13, 2018 - 7:59am
Here in Europe two women were the most hated lately. Nuland and Haley. Nothing but arrogant sluts.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 13, 2018 - 8:04am
James
 
Exactly. That's what we saw in her. A woman goes into extremes when it comes to love OR hate.
George N Romey Added Oct 13, 2018 - 9:29am
If she was a neocon good riddance. And of course we have the usual Clinton zygotes swearing she and Obama were for peace. As long as the war machine gave to their campaigns it was war on.
Michael B. Added Oct 13, 2018 - 10:16am
Fuck the U.N., or should I say, the "un", to be applied as a prefix to numerous words. Much like NATO, it is LONG OVERDUE to be dissolved.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 13, 2018 - 10:43am
Ken, ever since Rush Limbaugh gained ascendency, there's been a right wing media complex. With the creation of Fox News, it became available to anyone with a cable connection. And with the ongoing world of words on the internet, there is no doubt that there is indeed a right wing media complex that serves as a counterweight to the perceived liberal bias of the main street media. The right wing complex is much smaller but much louder in its vociferous denunciations of anything that goes against its orthodoxy.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 13, 2018 - 10:45am
James - I do agree that Nikki Haley is not someone I would want as an elected representative for some of the same reasons you state. I do believe she did a credible job trying to serve as a representative for this administration given the proclivity of this administration to change positions much like a Mexican jumping bean.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 13, 2018 - 10:49am
Thomas, you said something that I agree with. That is, DJT has spread many seeds. Unfortunately, he spread seeds of thistles and kudzu on the international stage. His misguided policies will germinate and be ready when a real international crisis occurs and the US will not be able to call on other former allies for assistance, because they've all sworn off associations with this madman.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 13, 2018 - 10:54am
Katharine - I agree with you that having the world's reserve currency is a double-edged sword. That is the mechanism for us to both overspend and run a deficit as a country, while at the same time bringing in merchandise and exchanging dollars for that merchandise. The dollar is our most successful product.
 
I see many seeds being sown by this administration (thanks, Thomas) that will end with the dollar losing its supremacy as a currency. Once that happens, living standards in this nation will go down rapidly as the inflation that has been hidden by our elite status washes over our shores like a tsunami.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 13, 2018 - 10:55am
FJ - you expressed my thoughts about Nikki Haley much better than I did. Thank you.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 13, 2018 - 11:00am
Jeanne - I agree regarding Tillerson, but he also had apparently a deep antipathy towards the State Department, since he could have presumably helped to ensure that the voids in ambassadorships and other posts got filled. In fact, with this kerfuffle about Khashoggi, it is instructive that there is not a US ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Pitiful!
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 13, 2018 - 11:03am
Stone - I had no idea that Victoria Nuland was so disliked. In fact, I had to refresh my memory on who she was. What was it that was so disagreeable about her?
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 13, 2018 - 11:06am
A general note - I also agree that the United Nations as currently constructed is not a significant force for good. It would make good sense if a well-respected nation tried to work with allies to revise the structure to make it more effective. Instead, what we have is someone who pokes his finger in the eye of his opponents and calls it diplomacy. 
 
He deserved to be laughed at.
opher goodwin Added Oct 13, 2018 - 1:30pm
Burger - not quite true about protecting your butt over the years is it? Seemingly that's been our job. We've been dragged into conflict after conflict - Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria. Seems that where-ever the US sticks its bare-arsed behind out we are there with the toilet roll.
opher goodwin Added Oct 13, 2018 - 1:38pm
EABC - yes it is a sorry tale of brawn rather than brain and it has not done many favours to anyone. Alliances are forged over many decades but can be easily broken. Trump has not made many friends around the world and neither has he got his own way. There are so many ways to create obstacles.
Trade wars, walls, cosying up to some nasty dictators and stabbing your friends in the back does not make for a smooth journey.
I can't think of many American leaders who have elicited such vehement protests. We hoisted an orange petulant baby into the sky. But he was too frightened to come and visit the capital and his visit cost up $24 million in extra policing to protect his arse.
I don't know about making America great - he's certainly made it a laughing stock.
opher goodwin Added Oct 13, 2018 - 1:40pm
EABC - I am all in favour of working to make the UN an effective force. I think it is effective now but could be a lot better. It's successes are not always apparent. Who knows where we would have been without it shining the light on misdoings. It has operated as a brake and a spotlight. As Churchill, who was instrumental in setting it up, said - 'Jaw Jaw is always better than War War'.
George N Romey Added Oct 13, 2018 - 2:03pm
And just where is this “good nation” that’s going to run the UN? The west has killed millions since 1945 supposedly for their own good. John Wayne, James Bond and all the bullshit you believe in.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 13, 2018 - 4:08pm
EABC
 
Someone who demands the EU to spend more into "defense", which would lower the budgets for other needed tasks, orders us to sanction Russia which restricts our economic growth, and says offkey "Fuck the EU".... does someone expect we like such a person ?
Stone-Eater Added Oct 13, 2018 - 4:10pm
Oph
 
NATO and EU should be dissolved. NATO is obsolete, and the EU is a centralized moloch that doesn't consider different mentalities and ways of doing business.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 13, 2018 - 5:09pm
Ian- you are as ever the astute observer :)
Thomas Sutrina Added Oct 13, 2018 - 10:15pm
Even a broken clock is correct twice a day, we disagree.  Your saying Trump is sowing weeds.  I said Trump is an average sower of seed.  I think Obama was a poor sower in comparison because he made decision based on Ideology.  Trump has no ideology.  He just want America to be a better place to do business.  That means he want Americans to be purchaser, more middle class. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 14, 2018 - 6:19am
Opher -  Thats because your lot is beholden to the same group of bankers as ours
Ward Tipton Added Oct 14, 2018 - 9:31am
Get rid of the UN, get rid of NATO, let them join the League of Nations in their rightful place ... the dustbins of history. 
Bill H. Added Oct 14, 2018 - 11:20am
 
Leroy - He married a Russian who is mixed with Asian.
With Trump, he can be a racist and a womanizer at the same time (and get away with it).
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 14, 2018 - 5:50pm
Opher - I just wonder about the strain of American political thought who believe we are just better off if we crawl inside of our borders and tell the rest of the world to F___-off. It has been there for over a century now - its first manifestation was the refutation of the League of Nations. At the same time, we hold dear our manifest destiny to meddle in other nation's affairs. The Monroe doctrine is nearing 200 years of continuous service.
 
At some time, it will behoove us to realize that we are only 5% of the human population on earth, and we'd better figure out how to interact with each other in peaceful forums. And yes, jaw-jaw is infinitely better than war-war.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 14, 2018 - 5:54pm
George - it is the human race that is the killer, and we all use differing ideologies to justify our slaughter of those who do not believe our own ideology. That is why no one "runs" the UN - it will have to be a collective effort. But one of the things that is messed up with the UN is that its general assembly is kind of like the US Senate - only its one vote per country regardless of the size of the population or economy of the country. Likewise, the Security Council is set up to guarantee paralysis with the absolute veto power of the 5 permanent members. Both of these structures are destined to created gridlock, and end up enabling corruption to flourish in the parts of the UN that do try to work in the world.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 14, 2018 - 5:58pm
Thomas, we may just have to agree to disagree. I do agree with you that Trump has no ideology. I also believe he has morals that do not reflect this nation's own morality. That's why I cannot believe that Evangelical Christians are anointing him as God's chosen one to do the work of God through a flawed vessel. The scene yesterday of the recently released minister held in Turkey who wished for God to provide Donald Trump with "superhuman wisdom" was bizarre to me.
George N Romey Added Oct 14, 2018 - 6:00pm
Under your plan big countries could tell small countries what to do. Global government doesn’t work. The world is diverse. Who makes the decisions? Western countries? 
James Travil Added Oct 14, 2018 - 11:24pm
The hypocrisy of the Christian evangelicals fawning over Trump is only equalled to the hypocrisy of so called "liberals" fawning over warmonger psychopath neocons like Nikki Haley and John McCain. 
George N Romey Added Oct 15, 2018 - 8:04am
My how times have changed.  The Democratic Party has now become the party of big business, Wall Street, the MIC, and the academic elite.  The entire religious right and Trump just proves how desperate they are and will do anything to be noticed, including taking a hero that could care less about their faith.  But then again the religious right has always been a pawn of the GOP.
 
America should concentrate on America but that's not gonna happen.  So we will continue to "spread Democracy" which is nothing more than code words for the .01% to plunder, pillage and economically and socially rape the unfortunates of the world.  And there's the UN often the "muscle" to get countries in line that don't seem to want to get with the program.
Bill Kamps Added Oct 15, 2018 - 8:44am
American foreign policy hasnt changed a lot since the late 1940s.  We have been variously supporting and toppling dictators, creating minor wars that kill hundreds of thousands for no real benefit, and positioning troops all over the world.  We still think we are the world's policeman, using language like how we mush punish the Russians for things they do, and punish the Saudi's for killing a reporter, as if that is even possible.   The big picture activities have largely stayed the same.
 
That Trump uses different language to carry out essentially the same foreign policy as Bush and Obama before him, is irrelevant.  Many people, including me dont like his language, however I would be more impressed if he would just pull out of places like Afghanistan, and close a few foreign military bases.  Instead he continues to increase the spending on the military, and has caved to other interests when it comes to having troops overseas, some engaged in combat, and others just sitting in bases. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 15, 2018 - 9:54am
I second that Bill. You have spoken to these issues with great credibility in the past. We need to equate a common business maxim to our military spending: work smarter,  not harder
 
The old alliances need to be untangled, close these bases and bring the lads home. If it's not to some purpose with a direct benefit to the vast majority of Americans there is no fight anywhere that is worth one drop of American blood or treasure
Steel Breeze Added Oct 15, 2018 - 10:44am
@TBH,well said....i second that...
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 15, 2018 - 10:50am
Burghal, Bill, and George - I am basically in agreement that a new way needs to be found. Though the international structures have prevented a full-scale nuclear exchange, the world has not been free of conflict since ??? Add in all of the minor skirmishes in African countries that range from genocides to child armies, and you have a world that has not learned to keep the peace. And all spending on defense is a theft from those who languish in poverty.
 
So what do we do? I maintain that behaving like a bully and looking at everything in a transactional light is not a way to improve the international climate. What would work? Realize that we have an ascendant economy (China) that bears deep grudges from the western imperialism of the 1800's and early 1900's. They've shown a desire to greatly expand their military sphere of influence. How does that expansionist push get contained? Should it?
 
We (the US) do need to reduce our military footprint in the world. But what will be response of the world be to fill the vacuum left behind when we depart? Remember that the nuclear genie was let out of the bottle a long time ago. Forget Iran, just think of Pakistan and India with their nuclear arsenals staring down over Kashmir.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 15, 2018 - 10:57am
Clock - it needs to be a process of disengagement. If it's not our sandbox who cares the vacuum? Its not our business nor should it be made our business. The world will always be a precarious place. Among most of our so called allies we are resented, rightly or wrongly, so? Go ahead, have at it. We'll butt out. Even where the mission is ostensibly for good....what thanks for it? The world can hang without us
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 15, 2018 - 10:59am
Let those other member nations of the UN step up and do their part. Thats the UNs job, right?
George N Romey Added Oct 15, 2018 - 1:05pm
Why do we need to be involved in others' conflicts.  In the end we are forced to take a position usually between two Banana Republics.  Let others figure their own lives out.  
Morgoth Added Oct 15, 2018 - 1:29pm
Considering that tariffs hurt those that voted for Trump I’m fine with them.  You need to get what you vote for.
Lindsay Wheeler Added Oct 15, 2018 - 3:04pm
America First?  Nah. 
 
America Alone?  Nah.
 
America Gone!  That's it. Venezuela here we come!
James Travil Added Oct 15, 2018 - 7:17pm
Lindsay Wheeler dealer is all bent out of shape over Venezuela, why I have no idea. I guess in his Trumpoid mind Venezuela is somehow a threat? What drugs do you have to be on to make you that paranoid? 
Bill H. Added Oct 15, 2018 - 8:41pm
 
Trump's priority of racking up sexual encounters played in his decision to bring on Nikki Haley as US ambassador to the UN. When she proved to have her own opinions and the ability to think and reason to oppose some of the Orange Buffoon's decisions, she obviously got some flack and decided to resign (like many before).
His dick and ego have always been the ONLY basis for almost ALL of his "decisions", after all, we have seen the many proclamations by ERW males out here that they consider him an "Alpha Male" (WTF?)
Maybe were missing something, and it's all about Testosterone.
 
George - Do you not agree that BOTH parties have become the puppets of big business?
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 16, 2018 - 10:06am
Burghal - here's one area where I wonder what the answer is. A huge amount of trade occurs via commercial shipping. Commercial shipping faces two threats. First, there are several areas where pirates ply their trade. Oil tankers and container ships are not designed for defense. Likewise, especially in the South China Sea, a heavily trafficked sea corridor, the Chinese have built coral atolls into fortified forward bases, and are claiming primacy over these waters. In both cases, is there a need for a force to maintain free access to the traffic lanes of the ocean? And if so, how is this force to be provided? Note that I am not saying that it is the US's responsibility to do this, although that has been one result of our naval presence throughout the world.
 
Do we just start arming tankers and container ships with arms? That will certainly work well when tankers are rent asunder spilling their cargo atop the ocean. I don't have a good solution, but I suspect that arming the cargo ships is the worst possible option to keep sea trade flowing.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 16, 2018 - 10:08am
James, Lindsay sees rampant socialism taking over in the US, instead of the rugged individualism manifested so ably by DJT. That is why he refers to the failed state of Venezuela as his imagined destination for the US.
George N Romey Added Oct 16, 2018 - 1:11pm
Of course both parties are the parties of  big business. But this idea that somehow a Donald Trump free world would change that dynamic is laughable.  Trump for all his bluster is limited in what he can do. He makes himself more important than he is (his trademark style for years) and people like you fall for it.
 
Trump is just another "faker" (like Obama and Bush) that tell their crowd what they want to hear and if anything carry out the pleasure and will of their big money friends.  Clinton would have been the same.
 
When you understand that Trump really isn't very relevant in anything you can stop with the ridiculous "Orange buffoon" ramblings.  The Presidential Reality Show is about real as The Apprentice.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 16, 2018 - 2:55pm
It occurs to me that the military is in control of the country and always has been, ever since the first commander-in-chief, George Washington.  Trump stays in power as long as he serves the military's purpose. 
 
People who are concerned about "climate change" are not connecting the dots regarding the DOD's enormous use of fossil fuels, or the transportation costs of international shipping.  Whose job is it to protect the oil tankers in the South China Sea?  It seems the oil companies/bankers who own the Federal Reserve might contribute to their own protection by poofing money at the problem. 
 
In some ways, Trump's "deglobalization" policies might impede "climate change" by curbing international shipping.  Now if we can get him to cut funding for the Department of Offense . . . 
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 17, 2018 - 10:09am
George, your points about former presidents has some validity. However, there is one substantial difference between them and our current occupant of the office. The current occupant is so caught up in his narcissism and his feeling of personal grievance that it is affecting his judgment and actions.
 
No better example than this farce aimed at trying to convince the nation that the Saudi royal family was an innocent victim in this issue with Khashoggi. Drawing equivalence between Brett Kavanaugh and MBS is bizarre to say the least. And this sort of action does have consequences. At least former presidents had enough self-restraint to not make international incidents worse than they were.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 17, 2018 - 10:17am
Katharine, it looks like marine transportation fuel use is about 12% of all transportation fuel consumption. So it is significant, but even stopping all international shipping would not result in a huge reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  As far as whose responsibility is it to defend international shipping, that is indeed a good question. If we remove our position on the seas, who or what will take our (US navy) place? We should reduce our role, but doing it unilaterally without consideration for what comes after is a sure way to invite chaos into the equation.
George N Romey Added Oct 17, 2018 - 10:25am
No EAB I would say past Presidents were just as narcissistic as Trump but put out a different personal persona aided by a complicit press.  The Press never bothered to tell Americans about what went on in the JFK WH.  By all means JFK makes Trump look mild.  Its just that people believe the charade.
wsucram15 Added Oct 19, 2018 - 2:30am
George..I agree to a point. Yes it has gone on for years and years. But the President more or less is a representative of this nation and should represent it with some dignity.  I feel like I live in a pit of blood, semen and sweat with a President that enjoys making all that  look good since 35% of the country loves it.  Even if he does a good job, he is still polishing bodily fluid people dont want.  Thing is, he does a crappy job, so we just look like the hairy arm pit of the world. 
 
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 19, 2018 - 10:34am
Agreed, Jeanne. And George, would any former president, while the discussion continues about the brazen Saudi execution of a US resident journalist in a foreign consulate, would any former president extol the behavior of a candidate for Congress who body-slammed a reporter for asking a question that the candidate thought improper? That's what happened last night in Missoula Montana, and the brainwashed masses who attended that rally cheered. That's why I say that this president has deviated so much more from acceptable behavior than any predecessor.
Thomas Sutrina Added Oct 19, 2018 - 10:57am
Correct only twice a Day, again your not at either of those two points of the day.   I am just as bored with Trump as I was with Obama because both are very creative in shoveling out shit.  
 
Neither president or in fact no president care about this Saudi citizen's fate.  Even when he has some connection with Americans.  And have when he thinks it is to his advantage help us.  Because we also know that then it is not to his advantage he will harm America just as easily.
 
I measure Trump and Obama's concern for American in the fact that Obama got no American free from tyrant nations and Trump has made it a point to get Americans free.  
George N Romey Added Oct 19, 2018 - 11:29am
So when JFK tried to kill Castro on the qt that made it more acceptable.  How about when Johnson body slammed the Fed Chairman against the wall and threatened to kick his ass if he raised interest rates.  Personally, if our President is being immoral I'd like to know about it.  
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 20, 2018 - 11:57am
George, our president is amoral, immoral, narcissistic, and insecure. Instead of an alpha male, he is an alpha bully. Do you believe it to be immoral to denigrate a  sex based upon appearance after having taken physical advantage of her? Do you think it is immoral to set up a ersatz corporate entity that enables a transfer of money within the Trump family that bypasses legal taxation? Do you think it is immoral to direct your administration to separate families at the border without setting up even a rudimentary system to enable the families to be reunited after their immigration proceedings are completed? Do you think it is immoral to opine that there is an equivalence between white supremacists and those protesting white supremacy?
 
I have maintained that Donald Trump is an existential threat to the US since his campaign in 2016 I am still of the opinion that this looney bumbling business failure will cause irreparable harm to this country and its institutions during the rest of his term.