• North Korea,  Trump

    Trump and North Korea: then and now

    As President Trump prepares to deliver his 2019 State of the Union address to Congress tonight, I want to recall a moving moment from his 2018 speech. Now Ji Seong-ho is among those who have noticed a sharp change of tone by Trump when it comes to the North Korean regime. Since Ji’s starring role in last year’s State of the Union, Trump has said almost nothing about the plight of the North Korean people, more than 100,000 of whom are estimated to be held in hard-labor prison camps. Instead, the president has abruptly shifted from a “fire and fury” condemnation of the North to an unprecedented strategy of engagement…

  • Syria,  Trump

    Trump declares victory against the Islamic State in Syria, orders withdrawal of US forces

    More evidence that President T doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.   The Trump administration is planning to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria, a defense official said Wednesday, as President Trump declared victory over the Islamic State. The president, in a message on Twitter, said the United States had “defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” His statement came shortly after news organizations reported that the White House had decided on Tuesday to abruptly remove the entire U.S. force of more than 2,000 troops from Syria. In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the United States had…

  • Science,  Trump

    Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States

    On the one hand: Report released today by the Trump administration finds climate change “is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us.” w/@chriscmooney https://t.co/so4HrQMbOP — Brady Dennis (@brady_dennis) November 23, 2018 “This report draws a direct connection between the warming atmosphere and the resulting changes that affect Americans’ lives, communities, and livelihoods, now and in the future,” the document reads, concluding that “the evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans’…

  • Saudi Arabia,  Trump

    Trump’s “blood for oil” bargain with the Saudis

    When Iraqi forces under Saddam Hussein invaded and occupied Kuwait in 1990, the “anti-imperialist” Left, opposing a military response, took up the slogan “No Blood for Oil!” Did concern about oil supplies figure in to the decision by the US, the UK, France and other countries to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait? Probably to an extent. But it was far from the only reason. The Iraqi invasion was a clear-cut case of aggression, and the consequences of allowing Saddam to get away with it would have been disastrous for all kinds of reasons. The “No Blood for Oil!” slogan was heard again as the US and the UK prepared…

  • North Korea,  Trump

    DJT ♥ KJU

    I’m old enough to remember when one of the worst insults in American politics was “commie lover”– usually aimed by rightwing Republicans at liberal Democrats deemed insufficiently alarmed about the worldwide Communist menace. And just as Joe McCarthy and countless other Republicans exaggerated the Communist threat within the US and unfairly labeled liberals, there were some liberals who downplayed the horrors of Communist rule in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba and elsewhere. So it makes my head spin a little when our Republican president unabashedly proclaims that he “fell in love” with the world’s most brutal and dangerous Communist leader. And when the reaction from his fellow Republicans is undetectable.

  • Far Right,  Trump

    Trump Popular with British Far Right Too and James Thring

    It’s worth noting that Trump isn’t just popular with the Far Right in the States he’s pretty popular with the Far Right in the UK too. Here’s Jez Bedford Turner, currently in prison, talking lovingly about him. This was from a meeting of the London Forum that James Thring spoke at. Here’s a slide from Thring’s talk. Do you think it looks more like a Far Right talk or a Far Left one?

  • Syria,  Trump

    “TREASON?”

    As Donald Trump continues his descent into paranoid rage, and as one senior official of his administration says that he/she and others are helping to protect the nation from him, I do want to single out one area in which I’m somewhat in sympathy with the President, as revealed in Bob Woodward’s upcoming book. Donald Trump ordered his defence secretary to assassinate Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad and “kill the f****** lot of them” in the leader’s regime, in the wake of a chemical attack against civilians, according to a new book. Defence secretary James Mattis is said to have told the president during a phone call he would “get right…

  • Israel/Palestine,  Trump

    A higher price?

    It’s possible that President Trump was a tad distracted by new developments on Tuesday, which caused him to ramble even more wildly and incoherently than usual. But when he addressed a campaign rally in West Virginia, he touched on his decision to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “You know what, in the negotiation, Israel will have to pay a higher price because they won a very big thing – but I took it off the table,” Trump told the crowd, speaking of the Jerusalem decision. “They [the Palestinians] could never get past the fact of Jerusalem becoming the capital. Now it’s off the table…

  • Iran,  Trump

    All hail Comrade Trump!

    On the heels of his increasingly questionable “success” with Kim Jong Un in Singapore (he called off “provocative” military exercises, and in exchange North Korea is, um, producing new ICBMs capable of reaching the United States), President Trump has offered to meet Iranian president Rouhani with no preconditions. Trump’s offer to meet Rouhani comes shortly after his all-caps warning to the Iranian regime. Aaron Blake observes in The Washington Post: Trump’s strategy here seems to be to rattle cages on the international level and frighten other countries into negotiating. Then, after closed-door meetings we aren’t privy to about complex topics that few truly understand, he emerges and makes plausible but…

  • Russia,  Trump

    “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.”

    Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and 2008 Republican candidate for President of the United States, offered one of the milder criticisms I’ve seen of President Trump’s encounter in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin: Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake. President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script…