Tuesday, March 27, 2018
President Trump's Foreign Policy Is Working Just Fine, Thank you, President Carter
THE REAL NEWS TODAY IS THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP GETS THINGS DONE. And, it's driving the mainstream media and ProgDems crazy. • • • CHINA TRADE DEFICIT. CNBC's Jim Cramer said : "After President Donald Trump placed up to $60 billion worth of tariffs on China last week, investors worried that the Chinese government would retaliate in kind. China's first move was to announce $3 billion in tariffs on mostly agricultural US goods like wine and fruit, a move many took as a sign that China was afraid of escalation. On Saturday, Chinese officials went a step further, announcing in the state-owned People's Daily that US companies including Apple, Intel and Boeing would be among the biggest losers in a US-China trade war -- a serious possibility given their sprawling China businesses." Then, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, on Fox this weekend, talked about progress in trade talks, saying perhaps the Chinese would show more respect for intellectual property [and] possibly lower tariffs on US exports. • No sooner had Treasury Secretary Mnuchin spoken on Sunday than China's new Premier Li Keqiang spoke to a conference of global CEOs on Monday, telling them that China would treat foreign and domestic firms equally. He added that China would not force foreign firms to transfer technology and would strengthen intellectual property rights. Premier Li Keqiang said China and the United States should maintain negotiations and he reiterated pledges to ease access for American businesses, as China scrambles to avert a trade war. CNBC reported that the US asked China in a letter last week to cut a tariff on US autos, buy more US-made semiconductors and give US firms greater access to the Chinese financial sector. CNBC was quoting a report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, that cited unidentified sources. • Alarm over a possible trade war between the world's two largest economies has rattled financial markets as investors anticipated dire consequences should trade barriers go up because of President Trump's announcement of plans for $60 billion in tariffs to cut the US trade deficit with China. In their letter to Liu He, a China vice premier who oversees the Chinese economy, Secretary Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer listed steps they want China to take, the WSJ said, quoting sources with knowledge of the matter. The WSJ reported that Mnuchin is considering a visit to Beijing to pursue negotiations. • So, despite a steady stream of fierce rhetoric from Chinese state media lambasting the United States for being a "bully" and warning of retaliation, Chinese and US officials are busy negotiating behind the scenes. Chinese state radio reported that Premier Li told his CEO audience that : "With regard to trade imbalances, China and the United States should adopt a pragmatic and rational attitude, promote balancing through expansion of trade, and stick to negotiations to resolve differences and friction." For example, China has offered to buy more US semiconductors by diverting some purchases from South Korea and Taiwan, the Financial Times reports, citing people briefed on the negotiations. China imported $2.6 billion of semiconductors from the US last year. Chinese officials are also working to finalize rules by May -- instead of the end of June -- to allow foreign financial groups to take majority stakes in Chinese securities firms, the Financial Times said. • On Saturday, Liu reportedly told Mnuchin in a telephone call that the US inquiry violated international trade rules and China would defend its interests, the official Xinhua news agency reported. A US Treasury spokesman confirmed the call, but declined to comment on the content of any letter or on a possible visit by Mnuchin to Beijing. A Treasury spokesman told Reuters : "Secretary Mnuchin called Liu He to congratulate him on the official announcement of his new role. They also discussed the trade deficit between our two countries and committed to continuing the dialogue to find a mutually agreeable way to reduce it." • Why is President Trump so determined about the China trade surplus? China has a $375 billion trade surplus with the US, and Trump wants it to be cut by $100 billion. Privately, according to the Financial Times, Liu and Mnuchin exchanged letters in the past week on further opening China's financial services sector and cutting Chinese tariffs on imported cars. China has a 25% tariff on US cars and has talked recently of lowering it. China's imports of US motor vehicles totaled $10.6 billion in 2017, about 8% of China's overall US imports by value, according to US government data. • • • TRUMP CLOSES A RUSSIAN CONSULATE AND EXPELS 60 RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS. President Trump has ordered the closure of a Russian consulate in Seattle near a US Navy submarine base with a huge nuclear arsenal guarded by dolphins. The President also expelled 60 Russians from the United States. The shutdown of the consulate in Seattle is "due to its proximity" to US naval base Kitsap-Bangor, according to administration officials. Experts believe the Navy installation has the greatest concentration of nuclear weapons in the United States. CNBC reported that the closed Russina consulate is less than 30 miles from what is believed to be the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the United States, if not the world. And it is guarded by dolphins. • Trump ordered the closure of the consulate as part of a broader move against Russian diplomats and intelligence officials Monday. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later confirmed the move to expel dozens of Russian officers, as well as the closure of the Seattle consulate. In its rationale for the closure, the White House specifically cited the Seattle consulate's proximity to the Kitsap-Bangor submarine base and facilities belonging to major defense contractor Boeing. When asked whether the US had observed Russian spying on the crucial naval base, officials gave mixed signals. One official told CNBC: "These actions are not designated towards any particular or individual effort of collection by the Russian government. This is a holistic look at the Russian government's collection capabilities in the US and the consulate in Seattle is just a particular location that has been designated." Another official said the Seattle consulate serves a role in Russia's intelligence collection in the US but would not elaborate on any specific activities. The official said to CNBC : "We assess the Russian consulate in Seattle to be part of this broader problem of an unacceptably high number of Russian intelligence operatives in the United States. We think it sends a very clear signal, particularly since on the West Coast the Russians will have a degraded capability with regards to spying on our citizens." • Lisbeth Gronlund, co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNBC : "In general, there will be two to three submarines in port with 200-300 weapons. There is also a storage center for nuclear weapons at the Bangor base that may hold several hundred additional warheads." Neither the Pentagon nor the US Navy responded to CNBC's request for comment. In addition to its storage of strategic nuclear weapons, CNBC reported that Kitsap-Bangor also serves as the homeport for more than half the Navy's ballistic submarines -- another significant interest to the Russian government. These stealth Ohio-class submarines are undetectable launch pads for intercontinental missiles. The number of submarines and other vessels berthed at Kitsap-Bangor makes the installation the third-largest fleet concentration in the United States. • Unique dolphin sentries from the Navy's Marine Mammal Program also help guard the base near Washington's Puget Sound. The installation uses Navy-trained dolphins to defend against intruders, identify mines and to recover objects. Since the 1960s, the US Navy has used dolphins and sea lions to work with sailors and Marines. • The closure of the Russian consulate and the expulsion of 60 Russians from the United States comes as a response to a nerve agent attack earlier in March on Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent who worked for the UK secret service, and his daughter, Yulia. A senior Trump administration official said : "This was a reckless attempt by the [Russian] government to murder a British citizen and his daughter on British soil with a military-grade nerve agent. It cannot go unanswered. To the Russian government we say, when you attack our friends, you will face serious consequences." Russia continuesto deny any involvement and says Britain is orchestrating an anti-Russia campaign. In a coordinated allied effort, 14 EU member states said they would expel Russian diplomats, according to European Council President Donald Tusk, including Germany, France and Poland. Other EU countries expelling Russians are Croatia, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Sweden. Non-EU countries expellign Russians include Albania, Australia, Canada, Macedonia, Norway, and Ukraine. • Even the rabidly anti-Trump Washington Post published a Worldview article titled "Trump and the West give Putin the fight he needs." The WP article said : "On Monday morning the United States, Canada and the European Union carried out a coordinated mass expulsion of Russian diplomats, responding to Moscow's alleged role in the March 4 poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain. The Trump administration expelled 60 Russian intelligence and diplomatic officers in New York and Washington and ordered the shuttering of the Russian consulate in Seattle. At least 14 other NATO and European allies joined in, ejecting more than 100 Russian diplomats in total. It was the strongest sign yet of American solidarity with Britain -- and its allies in Europe -- in the face of apparent Russian misdeeds. Under President Trump, that's noteworthy. Over the past year, Trump's apparent personal softness toward Moscow and indifference toward NATO and the European Union led many in Europe to question his commitment to the transatlantic relationship. Just last week, he congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on his reelection without mentioning Moscow's apparent use of a military-grade chemical weapon on British soil. [Note : French President Macron and other European leaders also phoned Putin to congratulate him.] But Monday's move marked a profound shift in tone. 'Today’s actions make the United States safer by reducing Russia’s ability to spy on Americans and to conduct covert operations that threaten America’s national security,' White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. 'With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences.'....The common front against Russia is welcome news among Washington's divided European friends. Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Moscow who has criticized Trump's approach toward Russia in the past, supported the decision and suggested it could prove a genuine blow to Russia's intelligence-gathering operations....'These expulsions and closure of the consulate reinforce the reality of a relationship that continues on a downward spiral,' Angela Stent, a former intelligence officer who focused on Russia in the George W. Bush administration, said...'The Kremlin will surely retaliate, leaving even fewer areas where the United States and Russia can work together. What a change from the President’s congratulatory call to Vladimir Putin last week.' " The Washington Post took the position that : "Putin, who derives much of his legitimacy from his ability to rival the West, is only too happy to play this game. A resurgence of Cold War tit-for-tat expulsions and the thickening atmosphere of distrust between Russia and the West boosts his image in the mind of Russian nationalists. It 'helps to reconfirm a narrative that Putin has been pushing since 2012 about the US as a hostile actor,' McFaul told Today's WorldView. That's necessary given the actual weaknesses of the Russian state. The country's economy is smaller than that of Canada. Its entire military budget, noted Time's Ian Bremmer, is smaller than the extra amount Trump wants Congress to add to US defense spending. And although Putin won an election he was never going to lose, his hold on power is not as strong as it may seem. Putin 'knows that, no matter how many votes he ends up with, vast numbers of Russians are dissatisfied with their lot,' Stephen Sestanovich, a professor of international diplomacy at Columbia University, wrote in a recent column for The Washington Post. 'Nine of 10 consider corruption a big problem; just as many feel they are unable to do anything about it; and a shrinking number believe he will address it seriously. For a leader thought to have profited from foreign adventures, Putin’s support for specific policies has also started to look shaky. Polls show an astonishing 49% of Russians want out of Syria.” • The Washington Post noted that the Putin's campaign spokesman even thanked Britain for helping the Kremlin meet its voter-turnout target of 70%. “We were pressured exactly at the moment when we needed to mobilize,” said Andrey Kondrashov, adding that, in a moment of confrontation with a foreign adversary, “the Russian people unite around the center of power. And the center of power is certainly Putin.” Russian journalist Leonid Ragozin wrote : “The expulsion of diplomats strengthens the bond between Putin and his constituency, because it enhances the besieged fortress complex. A move against mafia state assets would, on the other hand, damage this bond, because Russians have no sympathy for London-based kleptocrats.” • What the WP did not allude to is the possibility that the nerve gas attack in Britain was calculated to do just that -- raise support for Putin right before the election. That may be disgusting to the West, but it would not be too surprising a move for the ex-KGBer Putin and his cronies. • • • JIMMY CARTER TRIES TO GIVE TRUMP A LESSON IN FOREIGN POLICY. The New York Post reported on Monday that former President Jimmy Carter says hiring John Bolton is Trump’s "worst mistake." Carter was speaking to multiple media outlets, including USA TODAY, on Monday when he tore into President Trump for his decision to hire the ex-US ambassador as his new national security advisor, calling it : “a disaster for our country. Maybe one of the worst mistakes that President Trump has made since he’s been in office is his employment of John Bolton, who has been advocating a war with North Korea for a long time and even an attack on Iran, and who has been one of the leading figures on orchestrating the decision to invade Iraq. I am concerned as a matter of fact about his deliberate moves to get into the key positions of government just people who agree with him. Access to different opinions before you make a final decision is very valuable, and in the last few days I think President Trump’s choice of close advisers, powerful advisers, have gone to unanimity rather than diversity.” • Again on CBS “This Morning” in an interview set to air Tuesday, Carter attacked the Bolton appointment : “I think John Bolton has been the worst mistake he’s made. I have been concerned at some of the things he’s decided.” BUT, Carter gave no specifics as to why Bolton was a bad choice for national security advisor, although Bolton has been known to criticize Carter for his handling of the Iranian Revolution in the late ’70s. Carter says he fears that Bolton will mishandle the negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. He told USA Today that his “first advice” to Trump, if they were ever to sit down and discuss the situation, would be to fire Bolton immediately : “What the North Koreans have wanted for a long time is just assurance confirmed by the Six Powers Agreement -- with China and Russia and Japan and South Korea and so forth -- that the United States will not attack North Korea as long as North Korea stays at peace with its neighbors.” • Now, let's get this straight -- the President who refused to support the Iranian Shah who was a US ally, thus letting the Ayatollahs take over Iran and form the first radical terrorist-Islamist state, the President who then allowed Iranians to storm the US Embassy in Terehan, sack it and take 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, the President who was so inept in the face of the hostage-taking that he further allowed a poorly planned helicopter rescue mission known as Operation Eagle Claw to try send an elite rescue team into the embassy compound in Teheran, a mission halted by a severe desert sandstorm on the day of the mission that caused several helicopters to malfunction, including one that veered into a large transport plane during takeoff, ending with the deaths of 8 American servicemen, the President who had to stand down while his successor Ronald Reagan successfully negotiated the release of the 52 American hostages on his election day -- THAT President is now telling Donald Trump how he should run his foreign relations policy office and giving Trump advice about what North Korea "wants." DO NOT MAKE US LAUGH, President Carter. Like Hillary and her lies about Benghazi, you should go home and be quiet. • • • DEAR READERS, the Progressive left money men, their ProgDem puppets in the Swamp and the lapdog propagandist media that supports their program to destroy the Republic -- THAT part of America is unwilling to admit that President Donald Trump has been extremely effective in his foreign policy efforts. • He shamed the European allies of the US in NATO to pay up on their financial obligations to their own security. • He set straight the UN and its socialist-marxist majority in the General Assembly about the US commitment to Israel, following up with appropriate withdrawals of US financial support for UN entities that mistreat Israel and movng the US embassy to Jerusalem -- all this has been so successful that the EU is now telling the Palestinians to stop "antagonizing Trump." That was the message Germany's new foreign minister, Heiko Maas, delivered to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this week, as Germany made an effort to kickstart the Israel-Palestinian peace process. Maas told Abbas to "not tear down bridges" with the Americans. In recent months, Abbas has taken great offense to Trump's open affinity for Israel, going so far as to publicly wish for the White House to collapse on the American leader's head. Wishing for someone's house to fall on their head is a common Arabic curse against one's enemies. While he's not busy personally insulting Trump and his administration, Abbas has been lobbying hard in Europe to launch a new peace process that doesn't include the Americans. But, according to Israel Today, he's "hit a brick wall, after European leaders unequivocally told Abbas that a comprehensive Middle East peace deal leading to the creation of a Palestinian Arab state is impossible without the involvement of Washington." Maas reiterated that position on Monday. What the Europeans have agreed to do is lobby the Trump Administration to abandon its outright support for Israel and its positions. But, the world has learned in the past year that when President Trump takes a position or says something, he means it and is not likely to back down unless his original position was simply part of a negotiating ploy -- a phenomenon that most Americans now recognize for its effectiveness -- and the world can be sure that the Trump policy about Israel is not a ploy of any kind. It is the real thing. • If the Palestinians don't yet understand that, they ought to talk to North Korea's Kim Jong-un. His bluster and "Rocket Man" antics have turned in to a call for negotiations and a promise not to fire any more missiles -- all because of President Trump's get-tough policy that frightened Kim to his knees -- and sent him scurrying to China for help. Asia expert Harry Kazianis on Monday told Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is reportedly visiting Beijing to curry favor with the Chinese and “to figure out how to get out of” the tough situation with President Trump. Bloomberg reported Monday that Kim made a surprise visit to China -- his first foreign visit since assuming power in 2011 -- citing three anonymous sources. Kazianis told Ingraham : "But I think there’s actually a bigger question you have to ask -- is Kim Jong-un actually panicking? Because we have to remember -- what do the North Koreans actually get out of the negotiations with the United States? Nothing. Because now the Trump administration is demanding that they give up their nuclear weapons. So what do the North Koreans get here? I have a feeling the North Koreans could actually be in Beijing to figure out how to get out of this and hope the Chinese can help them do that." Gordon Chang, a Daily Beast columnist and author of the book “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On The World,” told Ingraham that “what’s going on is that [Chinese President] Xi Jinping is trying to pull the strings on the North Koreans....look, China does control North Korea. When China really wants something, they get it. And I think that really right now what we are seeing is the Chinese telling the North Koreans, 'You've got to do what we, the Chinese, say.' " It is also possible that Trump's appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor had an intended effect on Kim Jong-un. News of Kim's reported trip also came less than a week after Trump appointed Bolton to replace national security advisor H.R. McMaster. The North Koreans fear Bolton, Chang said, because he "is going to put an end to" North Korea's weapons sales with countries like Iran. And I'm sure the North Koreans are very concerned -- also the Chinese, because the Chinese have been aiding in this deadly trade, and they're not going to like to see Bolton in 1600 Pennsylvania really putting an end to their support for North Korea." Kazianis concurred, saying that Bolton "is North Korea and China's worst nightmare," because he will follow Trump's lead and "drive very hard terms when it comes to negotiations." "Bolton's also going to drive hard terms in terms of trade...I think it's a fact that the Chinese have really been doing a lot of damage to our economy," Kazianis said. "Now that you're going to have maximum pressure on North Korea...you're also going to have maximum pressure on China." • Mark Weinberg, former assistant press secretary to President Ronald Reagan, wrote an excellent piece for Fox News on Tuesday. Weinberg says : "President Trump has been beset by criticism and controversies over his tweets and utterances since long before he took office. But it’s time to give credit where it’s due : contrary to sentiments expressed by the media, Donald Trump is one of the most effective communicators to ever serve as President. Take it from someone who worked for the man dubbed “The Great Communicator” himself. Ronald Reagan, like his successor, Mr. Trump, had an uncanny ability to connect with his base of supporters, including a number of blue-collar Democrats, often to the great frustration of his critics in the media who liked to portray him as simplistic, unknowledgeable, or just plain dumb. Sound familiar? In Reagan’s case, these were grossly unfair characterizations, as I knew well. But, President Reagan didn’t care much about them -- because he knew he was a skilled and savvy communicator who could easily go over the heads of the Washington beltway punditry." Weinberg notes that it is logical that "the two greatest communicators in recent presidential history came from the entertainment industry. Reagan, like Trump, spent many years in front of the camera, learning lines, hitting cues, and mastering the craft of self-expression. Like everyone in the entertainment world, they paid close attention to ratings, because ratings meant either life or death for their respective programs. This gave both men the talent of knowing what people wanted to hear, and how to make sure they were listening....President Reagan mastered the medium of television to convey his messages. His training as an actor and as a longtime television spokesman for General Electric Theatre gave him the skills needed to communicate big ideas to large numbers of people, as well as a technical appreciation for the stagecraft of the modern presidency. Trump, too, was a skilled television presenter. But he’s also mastered another mode of communication with which Reagan was obviously unfamiliar -- social media....both relished the role of an outsider coming to Washington to shake things up and fundamentally change the way the government serves the people....Donald Trump’s tweets earn a great deal of criticism, especially by folks in the media. But the point is often missed: the tweets are very effective. They give Trump an international platform to say whatever he wants to say. And he can change, or some might say manipulate, the global news cycle at will. If Trump doesn’t like a storyline in the media, he can with one tweet change the entire narrative. Reagan was a great communicator, but Donald Trump is an even more powerful one." Weinberg applauds Trump for using the sheer force of his ability to communicate -- a man with no political experience -- to singlehandedly "vanquish one of the deepest, most respectable and experienced benches of Republican presidential candidates ever -- as then go on to defeat the seemingly prohibitive odds-on favorite in the general election." Weinberg says : "That happened because Donald Trump communicated. Clearly. And continues to do so. We never wonder what he thinks. Trump is not afraid to let the country see how his mind works, and even his critics in the media begrudgingly praise his unprecedented allowing of live television coverage of some of the most important meetings of his presidency." And, adds Weinberg : "as demonstrated by Trump’s bold decision to meet with Kim Jong-un, he shares Reagan’s belief that when it comes to potential adversaries, it is always better to talk to people instead of about them. Reagan believed that if he could just get his Soviet counterpart in a room and tell him, man-to-man, that the US had no hostile intent, and would not tolerate any nation that sought to harm us, they could embark on a path to reduce the threat of nuclear war. Evidently Trump believes the same thing about the North Korean." • If the ProgDems and their dark money men and the Swampy Deep State and the mainstream media would give President Trump the space to do what he is so good at, instead of having to use part of his precious presidential time to fight back at their lies and stupidities as they remain in denial about his election victory and try to destroy him because he is not Hillary -- thank God -- Donald Trump would already be seen as a great President in the mold of Ronald Reagan. His genius is being diverted by the ProgDems. But, he will survive, and if his impressive list of early victories is any indication, when the Swamp and its storm troopers finally quit or end up in jail, President Trump will show the world what a dedicated conservative President who is a public servant, in the best sense of that word, can do for America and the world.