Category Archives: Bush

That’s Why We Elected Him: TRUMP Was OUR President, Not The World’s Tool

Bush, China, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Middle East

Coming from the liberal Economist, an accounting of Donald Trump’s foreign policy achievements carries more force. While to me, this is a list of Trump’s achievements, to the Economist, it is a list of the president’s failures. (Inquiring minds should always read the reasonable opposition, which means sources outside America.)

Before cussing him out, they write: “Donald Trump has given American foreign policy a bracing bolt.

The area where Mr Trump has shaken things up most is in relations with China, the single biggest issue in American foreign policy. Such a rattling may have been coming anyway because of China’s growing aggression. But Trumpists believe the president’s new realism marked a decisive break with the Democrats’ tendency to favour process over outcomes.

According to this narrative, Americans naively thought that opening up to China and letting it join the WTO in 2001 would in time encourage it to become more liberal and democratic. The opposite has happened. China exploited the West’s openness in order to steal its intellectual property. Under its increasingly authoritarian president, Xi Jinping, it has become a fiercer economic rival, as well as a more powerful one. It has continued to build up its armed forces and to bully its neighbours. It was left to Mr Trump to challenge the idea that this was unstoppable.

Toughness towards China has become a rare area of bipartisan consensus in America. The administration has started to shift attitudes elsewhere, too. It successfully urged Britain to shun Huawei, a Chinese telecoms giant, for its 5G telecoms network. More allies are expected to fall into line. Mr Pottinger says that Europe is “18-24 months behind us, but moving at the same speed and direction”. In Asia, America’s embrace of the phrase “a free and open Indo-Pacific”, expressing resistance to Chinese hegemony, has found favour from India to Indonesia, much to China’s annoyance. …

COVID-related:

Mr Trump’s response to covid-19 has shown this approach at its worst. In the midst of a global pandemic he chose to attack and abandon the World Health Organisation, the body responsible for tackling such crises. Where the world would normally expect America to take a lead, or at least to try to, it found an administration more interested in blaming others and shunning global efforts. Something similar goes for the greater crisis beyond covid, that of climate change: a repudiation of international efforts and wilful negligence at home. Every such American retreat from the international system is seen in Beijing as a chance to advance China’s claims.

It’s the platform Trump was elected on: look after neglected and impoverished Americans. America First.

The second area of damage is Mr Trump’s sidelining of his allies, who have frequently had no prior warning of major developments such as America’s abandoning of the Kurds in Syria or its reduction of forces in Germany. America’s alliances can act as a force-multiplier, turning its quarter or so of world GDP into a coalition accounting for some 60% of the world economy, far harder for China or Russia (neither of which has a network of permanent allies) to resist. Yet Mr Trump has taken allies for granted and belittled their leaders while flattering Presidents Putin and Xi. Foreign-policy get-togethers are awash with worries over “Westlessness”.

Amazing: Our allies seem to think that the role of an American government is to work for them, instead of for the American People.

My take on the Kurds, for whom I feel enormously, is a little unusual, articulated in “Bush Betrays The Kurds” and “Masada On Mount Sinjar“: Israel was missing in action on the Yazidi’s Masada odyssey and on matters Kurd. The Kurds are Israel’s responsibility. READ.
Similarly, the Palestinian refugees should have been a regional problem, in particular, the problem of the wealthy Arab countries.

 

Andrew Sullivan Forgets How He ALSO Once Policed Uniformity. Iraq, Andrew?

America, Argument, Bush, Conflict, Constitution, Free Speech, Iraq

What Andrew Sullivan, a fine essayist, says in this one paragraph of his latest piece, “Is There Still Room For Debate?,” is profound. It concerns the manner in which adherence to ideology is policed in America (and it is):

In America, of course, with the First Amendment, this is impossible. But perhaps for that very reason, Americans have always been good at policing uniformity by and among themselves. The puritanical streak of shaming and stigmatizing and threatening runs deep. This is the country of extraordinary political and cultural freedom, but it is also the country of religious fanaticism, moral panics, and crusades against vice. It’s the country of The Scarlet Letter and Prohibition and the Hollywood blacklist and the Lavender Scare. The kind of stifling, suffocating, and nerve-racking atmosphere that Havel evokes is chillingly recognizable in American history and increasingly in the American present.

The new orthodoxy — what the writer Wesley Yang has described as the “successor ideology” to liberalism — seems to be rooted in what journalist Wesley Lowery calls “moral clarity.” He told Times media columnist Ben Smith this week that journalism needs to be rebuilt around that moral clarity, which means ending its attempt to see all sides of a story, when there is only one, and dropping even an attempt at objectivity (however unattainable that ideal might be). And what is the foundational belief of such moral clarity? That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start,

Funny thing, however: I well remember, early in the 2000s, how Mr. Sullivan, together with the likes of David Frum (see my “Frum’s Flim-Flam” ), scolded and almost silenced those who objected to the invasion of Iraq. Well, I was certainly exiled from polite political company, around about then.

From my “PUNDITS, HEAL THYSELVES!” (May 29, 2004):

Thomas Friedman, Christopher Hitchens (undeniably a writer of considerable flair and originality), George Will and Tucker Carlson (both of whom seem to have conveniently recanted at the eleventh hour), Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Mark Steyn, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Andrew Sullivan – they all grabbed the administration’s bluff and ran with it. Like the good Trotskyites many of them were, once they tasted blood, they writhed like sharks. Compounding their scent-impaired bloodhound act was their utter ignorance of geopolitical realities – they insisted our soldiers would be greeted with blooms and bonbons and that an Iraqi democracy would rise from the torrid sands of Mesopotamia.
Their innumerable errors and flagrant hubris did not prevent the neoconservatives from managing to marginalize their competitors on the Right: the intrepid Pat Buchanan and his American Conservative; the quixotic Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. of LewRockwell.com, and Antiwar.com. (Plus this column, of course). Unfortunately for America, there hasn’t been a horror in Iraq that these prescients did not foretell well in advance.

Confess, Clinton; Say You’re Sorry, Sullivan” (2007):

Senator Hillary Clinton and neoconservative blogger Andrew Sullivan share more than a belief that “Jesus, Mohamed, and Socrates are part of the same search for truth.” They’re both Christians who won’t confess to their sins.

Both were enthusiastic supporters of Bush’s invasion of Iraq, turned scathing and sanctimonious critics of the war. Neither has quite come clean. Both ought to prostrate themselves before those they’ve bamboozled, those they’ve helped indirectly kill, and whichever deity they worship. (The Jesus-Mohamed-and-Socrates profanity, incidentally, was imparted by Sullivan, during a remarkably rude interview he gave Hugh Hewitt. The gay activist-cum-philosopher king was insolent; Hewitt took it .)

I won’t bore you with the hackneyed war hoaxes Sullivan once spewed, only to say that there was not an occurrence he didn’t trace back to Iraq: anthrax, September 11, and too few gays in the military—you name it; Iraq was behind it. Without minimizing the role of politicians like Clinton, who signed the marching orders, neoconservative pundits like Sullivan provided the intellectual edifice for the war, also inspiring impressionable young men and women to sacrifice their lives and limbs to the insatiable Iraq Moloch.

The latest policed orthodoxy Sullivan expounds on and wishes to be able to debate openly is, “That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start, that, as Lowery put it in The Atlantic, ‘the justice system — in fact, the entire American experiment — was from its inception designed to perpetuate racial inequality.”

Obviously incorrect.

Another of those Big Lies guarded across the spectrum, left and right, are the lies about America’s mandate around the world, borne of its exceptionalism: The Big Lies undergirding the destruction of Iraq (supported by Republicans like Sullivan) and Libya (brought about by Democrats like Hillary Clinton).

These are typical American truisms which need shattering, too. Mr. Sullivan, in his defense, did apologize for his role in the destruction of Iraq (after the fact).

* Image courtesy John @John89325183

‘Read My Lips: I’ll Build The Wall’

Bush, Donald Trump, Ethics, IMMIGRATION, Politics, Taxation, The State

“Read my lips: no new taxes.”

That pledge was the centerpiece of Bush’s acceptance address, written by speechwriter Peggy Noonan, for his party’s nomination at the 1988 Republican National Convention.

[Time magazine]

What will President Trump’s political epitaph be?

“Read My Lips: I’ll Build The Wall.”

RELATED:

Amid the slush of sentimentality over the death of George H. Bush, nobody in media made mention of where “W” (shrub Jr.) had been when he bid farewell to his father.

The State, remember, is not The People. The interests the dead pursued, for the most, were not those of ordinary Americans.

Maybe Israel can help?

The invisible Wall:

Fortunately, President Trump Doesn’t Listen To A Fellow Called Karl Rove

Bush, Democrats, Donald Trump, Elections, Politics, Republicans

Four minutes and 25 seconds into the segment with Martha MacCallum, Karl Rove, forever ubiquitous in the establishment and thus a fixture on Fox News—can be heard preaching to Trump to take the high-ground and not attack Democrats for blaming the president for Cesar Sayoc’s actions.

The opportunistic Rove was once a vocal Never Trumper who has never been particularly politically astute.

Fortunately, Donald Trump doesn’t listen to establishmentarians and continues to make moron the media furious. See the Atlantic’s long gripe, here:

Trump’s Incoherent Rally in Charlotte: The president calls for harmony, then attacks. He demands honesty, then lies. He insists on an end to personal attacks, then insults his opponents.