Trump Foreign Policy

Hanukkah at the WH

Featured image I missed accounts of the White House parties and reception that were held in observance of Hanukkah last week. Eight Holocaust survivors from Brooklyn were in attendance at the first (afternoon) party. President Trump made three sets of formal remarks. Yeshiva World comprehensively documents the proceedings in “VIDEOS/PHOTOS: Trump Hosts Annual White House Chanukah Party; Joined By Holocaust Survivors & Parkland Shooting Victim’s Dad.” The family of Parkland mass shooting »

Middle East disconnect at the Washington Post

Featured image The Washington Post takes time out from urging that the U.S. blow up relations with Saudi Arabia, as retribution for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, to provide a clear-eyed assessment of reality in the Middle East. The Post’s Liz Sly finds that Russia has become the region’s rising power. Russia has made huge inroads, commercial and diplomatic, throughout the Middle East. The nations that now woo Putin run the gamut »

Fake history from the Washington Post

Featured image President Kennedy, in discussing U.S. policy towards Latin America, reportedly described three types of regimes: democracy, dictatorship, and communist. He explained that the U.S. prefers the first, but is willing to accept the second in order to avoid the third. Nearly two decades later, Jeane Kirkpatrick, one of the architects of President Reagan’s foreign policy, distinguished between traditional authoritarian governments on the one hand, and revolutionary autocracies and totalitarian regimes »

Criticism of Trump’s Saudi decision misses mark

Featured image President Trump’s decision to continue backing the Saudi regime even after it had Jamal Khashoggi murdered has brought criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. That’s to be expected. However, the criticism I’ve seen so far is superficial and, in at least one case, dishonest. Let’s begin with the dishonest criticism. The Committee to Protect Journalists said this: If you boil the White House statement down to its essence, »

Trump stands with Saudi Arabia

Featured image President Trump today announced that, notwithstanding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, “the United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.” The essence of Trump’s explanation for the decision is contained in the first sentence: “The world is a dangerous place!” Elaborating on this obvious but oft-neglected truth, Trump cited our interest in »

Has Trump driven Japan closer to China?

Featured image Late last month, Japanese Prime Minister Abe visited Beijing. His visit nailed down multibillion-dollar trade deals and promises further to strengthen relations between the two Asian giants. “From competition to coexistence, Japanese and Chinese bilateral relations have entered a new phase,” Abe declared. “With President Xi Jinping, I would like to carve out a new era for China and Japan.” This was a marked contrast to Abe’s 2014 trip to »

Iran sanctions revisited

Featured image In his great undoing of the “accomplishments” of the Obama administration, President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the humiliating and destructive Iran nuclear deal. The deal funded a terrorist regime that remains at war with the United States and that continues to avow its dedication to our destruction. There was no bridge too far for Obama in seeking to align the United States with the mullahs of Iran. »

The stooges of socialism

Featured image National Security Advisor John Bolton gave a speech naming and denouncing the Troika of Tyranny in our hemisphere — Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Bolton gave the speech in Miami, where the Miami Herald’s Franco Ordoñez wrote it up in a page-one story. Referring to the leaders of these leftist kleptocracies, Bolton called disparaged them as “clowns” and poured on the abuse: “These tyrants fancy themselves strongmen and revolutionaries, icon and »

Only Trump Can Go to China (and Smack Them in the Head)?

Featured image I don’t know why the stock market is suddenly having a case of the vapors. It could be the conventional explanations of the Fed slowly tightening, and/or the market is undergoing an entirely ordinary correction from rising too far too fast. The global economy is showing signs of slowing. Or it could be partially the ongoing uncertainty about Trump’s trade policy. I confess to remaining very nervous about Trump’s tariff »

The European reaction to Khashoggi

Featured image The mainstream media has criticized President Trump’s reaction to reports that Saudi Arabia is responsible for the disappearance and probable death of Jamal Khashoggi. Trump has said he is waiting for more facts, clearly an appropriate position to take. He has also said that if the Saudis are responsible for killing Khashoggi the U.S. response will be “severe punishment.” From the media’s perspective, this statement seems unobjectionable. At the same »

The Khashoggi slaying, the anti-Trump media, and American foreign policy

Featured image The murder of Jamal Khashoggi has replaced Brett Kavanaugh’s high school days as the mainstream media’s obsession. The media attributes the murder to the Saudi Arabian government. I don’t know whether the evidence conclusively supports this view, but for purposes of this post let’s assume that responsibility lies with the Saudis. The American media calls Khashoggi a journalist, and it’s true that he contributed articles to the Washington Post. However, »

Trade-Offs

Featured image There is other news happening right now aside from the Kavanaugh matter and the upcoming elections. Like the last minute deal with Canada to restructure NAFTA. Looks pretty clear that Canada blinked. No less a grandee than Walter Russell Mead says that Trump’s trade brinksmanship has been vindicated in this case: The midnight Sunday deal between U.S. and Canadian negotiators was a decisive victory for President Trump’s unconventional approach to »

They all laughed

Featured image President Trump spoke to the United Nations General Assembly this morning. I have posted the video immediately below. Politico has posted a good transcript of the speech here. I thought this was an excellent speech recapitulating the leading points of Trump’s reorientation of American foreign policy in favor of America’s friends and adversely to America’s foes. This foreign policy resists the encroachment of multilateral institutions and global governance on American »

Pompeo condemns Kerry

Featured image Yesterday morning I revisited former Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry’s coaching of the powers that be in Iran on the fine art of resistance to the Trump administration. Yesterday afternoon Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked at a press conference (transcript here) about Kerry’s freelance diplomacy, as Michael Rubin calls it in this excellent New York Post column. Pompeo responded: “What Secretary Kerry has done »

John Bolton hits a home run; the Washington Post calls it a foul ball

Featured image The Washington Post’s board of editors attacks John Bolton for a speech in which he harshly criticized the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Post doesn’t defend the ICC. In an understatement, the Post agrees that “the court has its defects.” However, the editorial board castigates Bolton for using his “first significant public address” to talk about what the editors deem an irrelevancy. The editors think Bolton should have discussed Syria, »

Trump shuts down PLO office in D.C.

Featured image Yesterday, the Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, saying that the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” That’s for sure. The Washington Post’s account of the story is here. You can almost see the tears Karen DeYoung shed writing it. In the paper edition, the story’s subtitle is “another blow to Palentinians.” Perhaps. »

U.S. Defunds UNRWA

Featured image This is good news that I missed a few days ago: U.S. halts funding to U.N. agency helping Palestinian refugees. I would say that headline is wrong in two respects. The United States on Friday halted all funding to a U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees in a decision further heightening tensions between the Palestinian leadership and the Trump administration. A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the decision »