Trump Foreign Policy

What did Trump certify?

Featured image Did President Trump certify to Congress on Monday that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal? This is what virtually of all of the reporting on his action says he did. We wrote that, early in the day, National Security Council director H. R. McMaster indicated the administration would certify Iranian compliance. The next day we reported, per Eli Lake, that Trump had balked at providing certification and came close »

Trump’s big concession to Putin

Featured image We know little, if anything, about what happened at the formal between President Trump and Vladimir Putin after Trump told the autocrat-thug that he was honored to meet him. We know nothing about what transpired at the dinner in Hamburg after Trump sought out Putin for further discussion. But now we know what Trump has done for Putin since they met in Germany. He has ended a CIA program in »

Trump’s “undisclosed” meeting with Putin

Featured image President Trump chatted at some length with Vladimir Putin during a dinner for G-20 leaders in Hamburg, Germany last week. The Washington Post and New York Times describe the meeting as “undisclosed,” an accurate description in the sense that Trump’s team didn’t tell the press about it. But the press acts as if Trump was obligated to tell it. He wasn’t. The press also acts as if there was something »

Report: Trump nearly killed the Iran deal

Featured image Eli Lake reports that President Trump came very close yesterday to not certifying Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal. Eli writes: On Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was supposed to certify Iranian compliance again. Talking points were sent to columnists. Senior administration officials briefed analysts on a conference call. The Treasury Department was set to announce new sanctions against a number of Iranians to soften the blow for the »

Trump administration to certify Iranian compliance with nuclear deal

Featured image The Iran nuclear deal requires that the administration certify (or decline to certify) to Congress every 90 days that Iran is in compliance and that the agreement is in the vital national security interest of the United States. The next certification is due today. Earlier in the day, National Security Council director H. R. McMaster indicated that the administration will so certify. McMaster added plenty of noise about how the »

They’ll always have Paris

Featured image What should we make of last week’s love fest in Paris between President Trump and French President Macron? On the surface, it was improbable. In the French election just a few months ago, Trump seemed more favorably disposed towards Marine Le Pen than towards Macron. And Trump did the unthinkable, from the French perspective, when he withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Macron responded by attempting to ridicule »

The new meaning of treason

Featured image Rebecca West wrote a once well-known book about British supporters of the Nazis during World War II that she called The Meaning of Treason (1947). Harry Kalven’s review is posted here. West famously revisited the subject to take account of the British Communists who spied for the Soviet Union in The New Meaning of Treason (1964). Sidney Hook’s review is here. When I wrote “The new meaning of collusion” earlier »

Emmanuel Macron: The boy who cried “wolf”

Featured image Emmanuel Macron, the 39 year old president of France who has been in office for a few months, declared yesterday that “our world has never been so divided.” At the end of the G-20 summit, Macron intoned: “Centrifugal forces have never been so powerful; our common goods have never been so threatened.” I don’t know what Macron’s 64 year-old wife taught him when she was his high school teacher, but »

President Trump in Poland

Featured image President Trump’s visit to Poland — a great U.S. ally and a nation with strong personal links to ours — has become the latest pretext for Trump bashing by the U.S. media. The Washington Post (paper edition) tells us, darkly, that Trump “shares ideological affinities” with Poland’s right-wing ruling party. In particular, he shares its aversion to immigration by Muslims and its combative relationship with the press. The Post also »

North Korea missile launch indicates ability to hit Alaska

Featured image North Korea today successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. The launch marks a breakthrough of sorts for the regime. The missile flew higher and remained in the air longer than previous attempts — long enough to reach Alaska, experts believe. The New York Times explains: Their missile traveled only about 580 miles, by itself no great achievement. But it got there by taking a 1,700-mile trip into space and re-entering »

The reason Russia wants us out of Syria is the reason we should stay

Featured image Over the weekend, a U.S. fighter jet downed a Syrian warplane after Bashir al-Assad’s troops attacked positions of U.S. backed forces fighting against ISIS. The confrontation took place near the one-time ISIS stronghold of Tabqa, not too far from Raqqa. Like the recent U.S. attack on a pro-Assad convoy in Southeastern Iraq, the downing of the Syrian jet should not be viewed as intervention intended to topple Assad, Rather, it »

Two cheers for Trump’s new Cuba policy

Featured image The “in” vacation among some of my liberal neighbors, friends, and relatives is a visit to Cuba. These hypocrites favor boycotts of North Carolina over its bathroom laws and of Ivanka Trump’s product lines because, even though she supports gay rights, she’s related to the president. Yet they are eager to patronize Cuba, where gays were harshly persecuted for decades (and still are to a lesser degree) and where, worse »

Nikki Haley, star

Featured image President Trump has made some outstanding appointments (although one of the best, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recently offered to resign in the face of criticism from the president). Right now, my favorite Trump appointee is U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley. In the tradition of our best U.N. ambassadors — Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeane Kirkpatrick — Haley has been a powerful voice against U.N. hypocrisy. Most notably, she has denounced U.N. »

Freakout in Paris

Featured image Here is another contender for most over-the-top reaction to President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. Francois Hoisbourg, described as a French defense expert who advised President Macron during his campaign, said: We have just witnessed President Trump putting an end to European-American relations. Something must have been lost in translation — sanity. Insane though it may be, the Washington Post, in a story by Michael »

Post “fact-checkers” swing and miss at Trump’s Paris accord speech

Featured image By now, most people understand that “fact-checkers” for organs like the Washington Post are just liberals trying to package their talking points under a byline they hope will bolster their waning credibility. That’s certainly the case with this Washington Post “fact check” (by Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee) of President Trump’s explanation for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. This howler appears in the second paragraph: Trump also »

Paris was yesterday

Featured image It’s official. President Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. Here’s the story in the Washington Post. You can almost see tears being shed by reporters Philip Rucker and Chris Mooney. The White House’s written statement to reporters says: The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first. The Accord was negotiated »

Why the Paris Accord Doesn’t Matter—and Does

Featured image Word is that President Trump will announce his decision on whether the U.S. will remain in the Paris Climate Accord at 3 pm eastern time today. It is rumored that he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Accord, probably by invoking its own clause allowing for withdrawal on a four-year timeline, but that the U.S. will remain a full participant in the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, which »