Beyond the Cusp

December 5, 2016

So Trump Took a Call from a Woman, Big Deal

 

President Elect Trump has been being roasted for taking a phone call from a woman, a Chinese woman, an important Chinese Woman, an Important Chinese woman who happens to be Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The Mainland Chinese (some still refer to them as Red China, imagine that) Dictator’s underlings Foreign Minister Wang Yi and another Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang went on the record demanding that President elect Trump recommit to the One-China Policy. Wow, are they overly-sensitive or just really insecure and jumpy? He exchanged congratulations with another recently elected President of a nation which the United States forsook in exchange for their one-billion-three-hundred-eighty-one-million give-or-take a few million potential customers and inexpensive workers over the paltry twenty-three-and-a-half-million potential customers and more expensive workers. Red China (see above, we’re troglodytes and use old terms) need not worry, their place as the main supplier for WalMart is secure. Some people really get bent out of shape jealous if you talk to their rival suspecting you don’t love them anymore. Don’t worry Red China, or with their new capitalism is it now Pink China, America never really loved you in the first place, it just made economic sense to pretend America threw our friends in Taiwan overboard. Wait until America sends them more arms and you really go bat-crazy on us for selling arms to one of your claimed provinces. What, you don’t want your provinces armed or just this province? Get serious and maybe America will as well.

 

Let’s get honest here. If you asked the man on the street in any major city which nation the United States recognizes and has relations with and made them choose between Taiwan (and you explained that was also called Formosa and was often called free China) or Mainland China (and informed them it was also Communist China and previously called Red China) the total would overwhelmingly choose Taiwan. That is who the American people desire as their friend, until they would find out things in WalMart would have their prices rise, then they would pick Red China, oops, sorry, Mainland China. The Americans know who their real friends are and who assists North Korea with their nuclear program and thus assist Iran with their nuclear program. They are not the ignorant rubes you have been told they are; they just are mostly hard working and need to worry more about feeding their families, clothing their families and keeping a roof over the heads of their families and do not really have tons of time to keep up on foreign affairs. Anyway, if they know any history, then they know that should a war break out, then one really decides who they side with and who is required to put down the infinitely worst enemy which may or may not require siding with a lesser current enemy. When that war is over, we can go back to disliking whomever we choose and this applies to all nations. Israel would even side with Saudi Arabia and Egypt against Iran and there is nobody we can think of at the moment which would have us ally with Iran, they count as worst enemy. Not to worry, that was not exactly a secret.

 

Back to Mainland China and getting serious. The United States remade their bed in the Far East all the way back in 1979 and tossed Taiwan to the seven winds of fate and allied officially with Mainland China in order to actually recognize them in the Security Council of the United Nations and allow for formal trade relations and a billion other things; they are called potential customers and the makings of a very large military force if necessary, also called the Chinese people. Still, every decade or so the United States takes a risk and modernizes the Taiwanese military with a large weapons deal and Mainland China goes ballistic and whoever is the President grovels for a while promising that he will never allow such a deal again. That President keeps his word but that word does not apply to the following Presidents. We suspect that there will probably be one of these explosions should Donald Trump be reelected as such deals are most often executed during second terms so as to minimize the damage to reelection chances. It looks bad when your opponent can label you a treaty breaker and unreliable and all those nasty things and actually have proof in the form of Mainland China. Then again, Donald Trump has not exactly been a by the book kind of guy though many of his cabinet picks have been from the right wing conservative branch of the Republican Party, that might be a twig that far out on the right wing when you get to Retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for your Secretary of Defense, a choice we heartily love and approve.

 

The flap over the phone call was very similar in the mainstream media as it was to the choice of General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for your Secretary of Defense. Retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor will likely continue to ruffle the feathers of the snowflakes reporting for NPR and the self-proclaimed objective media. I mean two former military men, what is Trump planning for, a war, an invasion, against whom? Well, the far left would be our guess as it appears they are gearing up for the long war, may it last twenty years as that is what is required to restore from the damage done since the assuming of the Presidency by Lyndon Baines Johnson after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Reagan checked the damage temporarily but with a Republican Congress, if the leadership can get their acts together, Trump can make real gains in restoring sanity and deregulating small businesses which get caught in the regulations battle the government claims to be using to check the “Big Guys.” The aims of these regulations almost always are skirted by the “Big Guys” and squarely smack the small businessman when he tries to progress and build his business. For far too long the government has actually been in the business of making sure the wealthy remain wealthy with no taxes or levies against wealth but with tons of taxes and other fees and regulations to prevent anybody else becoming wealthy and challenging the existing moneyed interests. Sure there are exceptions, but that is the problem, there are exceptions and it is not the normal flow for the little guy to make it big. We can hope Trump is different but that remains to be seen.

 

Uncle Donald Wants You

 

Reince Priebus is one choice which should be about as milquetoast and scrambled eggs as one can get. He will make the smallest ripples but does know how the Republican machine works, though many might claim the machine malfunctions more than running smoothly. Reince Priebus is one person who could quietly still get what Trump needs going and is far less controversial than say Newt Gingrich who would have been another good choice to get results but at what costs. Stephen Bannon is another choice which the media will blast as being bigoted and troublesome but he is no paleo-conservative and is more the middle of the road conservative with good monitoring for the mood of Congress and world affairs and should be an asset. The claims against Jeff Sessions and the regurgitating of his lynching by a Democrat Congress which also gave us the expression of somebody being Borked after the treatment which culminated on the rejection of Judge Robert Bork for a Supreme Court nomination where innuendo and snide commentary proved enough to slur the good name of a competent and righteous juror who would have been an asset and great Supreme Court Judge and would likely have been nominated to be Chief Justice instead of Roberts had he been on the court. His loss and the lynching of Jeff Sessions will be recorded as stains on the reputation of the members of that Congress who performed their positions in the Senate as more a lynch mob than an approval and validating body.

 

Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and David Patraeus have all been names floated for Secretary of State. David Patraeus should not be a viable choice despite his qualifications and proven work ethic but it is his ethics which failed as he shared classified information with a person not cleared to receive such privilege. That was just as wrong as Hillary Clinton’s transgressions even if to a much lesser degree and he served his time and lost his position and should remain that way at the very least at this time. Perhaps in a second term but not up front. As far as between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani it comes down to what attitude does Donald Trump prefer to be the face of the United States? He has already made one choice in such a position with Nikki Haley as the United Nations Ambassador where her straight forward style will be refreshing and her professionalism a statement to the world that the United States takes reasoned and solid stances and represents exactly what they claim to be. Rudy Giuliani would be a similar, if not more vocal and sharply stated, style appointee and would make for a great compliment to Nikki Haley with both being out front kind of people and shy wallflowers. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a quiet, professional choice who would be a good negotiator though very unlikely to be brash or grating. His style is grace and competence will win the day as long as one remain steadfast and steady on the path and refuses quietly but still forcefully to stand their ground. The main problem with Mitt Romney is he screams Republican political tool and would offend many Trump supporters which is why he will be the media favorite.

 

Other choices, include Steven Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury who was chosen from the media film and Wall Street business world. Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary comes from a venture investment capitalist background where he rescued failing companies often making them profitable. Such work does not make one popular, especially if you are successful as often one is required to step on more than a few toes and restructure companies releasing sometimes most of a workforce. He will be interesting to monitor. Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation will make an excellent choice. Not only a woman but a minority woman with impeccable abilities and great loyalty to those she works with. She was Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush for eight years, making her the only cabinet member to serve his entire term. Mike Pompeo for Director of the CIA is an Army veteran who spent years as a businessman before entering politics, now in Congress, voted as a Tea Party candidate from Kansas, and sits on the House Intelligence Committee which gives him the necessary experience factor. Still to cover are Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education; both of which have the needed qualifications but are really lesser known Republican Party regulars and should prove efficient in calming any jitters from the Party elites. Will the elites of the Republican Party be mollified? Not likely, but they will have less than they expected to use as pry bars when speaking to the media, and that will be an asset in and of itself. In all too many ways, the detractors of Donald Trump and his performance as President are jumping the gun slightly as he has not taken office or even cleared the Elector College which meets to vote later this month. The actions of some Republican Party elites, many in the media and now Mainland (Red) China are all very similar in that they grab ahold of a single incident, a particular appointee or any other item even as small as a tweet and just sink their teeth in and, like a bulldog, refuse to release and will remain attached in attack mode even if it kills their credibility because they are serving the cause. What cause? Don’t ask us, ask them. They probably believe they are serving some purpose saving the party, nation, free world or even the planet, possibly the solar system; and this drives them right over the edge, we would say beyond the cusp, but whatever edge they are running off, it is not here.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 28, 2013

Empty Threats

President Obama has managed to take the full might and power of the United States of America and make it as impotent as a child who threatens to hold their breath until they turn blue. Once again this week President Obama stepped up and reiterated his willingness to act should Bashir Assad or either rebel group utilize any of Syria’s extensive stores of chemical weapons. His actions were necessitated by reports of possible use of said chemical weapons as reported by the intelligence agencies of France and Britain. These reports coincided with a more strongly worded statement from the head of Israeli military intelligence that President Bashir Assad had indeed used his chemical weapons. The Israeli communicated that they had proof that Syrian troops had released Sarin nerve agent on two occasions and not just military grade tear gas whose use had been reported earlier. This was likely stressed as President Obama had discounted the use of the military grade tear gas as not being sufficient to cross President Obama’s red line on chemical weapon use. The Israeli report was initially confirmed by United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel who later retreated from his position claiming to have been surprised by the Israeli claim as they had not informed him while he had been visiting Israel earlier on the week. So, where does that leave things?

 

The thing about the Israeli claim is it was backed up by the Syrian rebel forces which are currently receiving nonlethal supplies from Western powers when they admitted to knowledge that Israeli agents were working within Syria and would quite likely have first-hand evidence of any chemical weapons use. For the rebels to actually admit to the presence of Israelis inside Syria is a rather bold statement that would not be issued lightly. Despite the mounting evidence that Bashir Assad has resorted to using his chemical weapons, President Obama has chosen inaction and a simple restatement of his initial threat that any use of chemical weapons by either side would result in immediate action by the United States. When the initial reports of potential use of chemical weapons was issued by Britain and France President Obama requested clarification as to which chemicals were known to have been released. When it was then reported that there were suspicions of possible caustic chemicals as well as the aforementioned tear gas, President Obama dismissed the rumored use of caustic agents dismissing them as equally possible industrial chemicals such as chlorine being accidentally released as a result of the use of explosive munitions. When President Obama backed off these initial reports it might have been understandable that the American threshold to qualify as chemical weapons use was higher than that of their European allies and Israel. But with the reports of Sarin gas being released on the battlefields of Syria one might expect a reaction from the United States at least somewhat stronger than words, especially a stale repetition of the President’s original warnings. Does President Obama really believe that setting a red line and then when it is violated, simply resetting the red line will gain respect from the likes of Bashir Assad, a treacherous dictator who has already murdered tens of thousands of his own countrymen and sent millions into exile will recoil in fear from mere words that President Obama has given indication he never intended to back with actual actions?

 

And Bashir Assad is far from the only world leader watching to see if President Obama is a credible leader who backs his words with actions. There is always North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, another one who likes to hear himself threaten. The one thing absolutely necessary to keep the likes of Kim Jong-Un impotent is to mean action when one threatens to use it. If Kim Jong-Un expects for a minute that any threat of action by the United States is not going to be actually executed, then he is very likely to act on his threats in the belief that there would be no real consequences. And Kim Jong-Un is not the most dangerous of threats on the international stage. There is Iran and the Ayatollahs with their nuclear project which thus far words have proven to be less than useless, yet here too President Obama appears to be satisfied to talk until a nuclear Iran is a verified fact and a half a dozen cities around the world lie as smoldering ruins. With new leadership in Mainland China there is a need for the words of the President of the United States to have great weight, not great doubts. It is for exactly such reasons that President Obama must not allow his word to become a matter for questions rather than being taken at face value and his every word heeded. It is for reasons of credibility that President Obama may find necessity requiring him to act against the Syrian chemical weapons threat. It is not necessary for United States military forces to put boots on the ground as all that is required to fulfill President Obama’s warnings against the use of chemical weapons would be to destroy the chemical weapon storage facilities. My bet would be that should President Obama decide to commit a couple of B-2 stealth bombers, as he did in a show of strength to Kim Jong-Un, to actually bomb the Syrian chemical weapon stores, Israel would be more than agreeable to provide accurate coordinates and might even offer to turn off the Syrian radar grid, though such would not be really necessary with stealth bombers. The old children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me,” does not apply in the realm of world politics where words can do one great harm, even break more than bones.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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