Can America’s Foreign Policy Work?

Sometimes I have to absolutely laugh at some of the questions that the Gallup Organization comes up with. When you realize that this is the group that actually started polling in politics way, way back about 80 years ago or so, you realize how far they have fallen as a company. But then I read some of the answers that we as Americans give them to their rather inane questions, and I have to wonder who has fallen further, we as a nation or they as a company. I think it’s a toss-up.

The latest poll I saw asked the question if people had “confidence in America’s foreign policy”. 52% said yes. Well, that’s better than most of the polling that takes place there. At least half of the people were engaged enough to answer that question…and frankly I’m thinking half of those people don’t know what foreign policy even is.

That by the way is a HUGE turnaround from where it was in Obama’s last year as president. Only about 20% of the people thought we were going down the right road when it came to foreign policy. That’s because Obama didn’t care about it. It didn’t help spread his socialist agenda. He can’t make America a socialist country if he’s off fighting wars and meddling in other countries’ business!

What this tells me is something the stock market, the employment figures, and the overall economy is telling me. Donald Trump is having an overall positive effect on this country. Now, I’m not saying the guy isn’t a goof ball in a lot of arenas. I’d be the first to say he is. But as a businessman, he understands how to run things, and so far, he’s done a pretty fair job of righting a ship that was listing badly and taking on water after eight years of a failed Obama presidency. His policies have corrected a lot of Obama’s mistakes, and he’s working hard to try and correct the others. That includes the foreign policy circle that Obama thought could be handled with an apology tour or two. Obviously it didn’t work any better than his domestic policy, proving once again, liberalism doesn’t work…it never has…it never will.

When Trump took over and changed the tone of how America was viewed, not through our eyes, but through the eyes of the world, it was very interesting to watch. Liberal countries disdained his views, and his brash style, going so far as to want to not allow him into their country. It’s interesting just nine months in to his first term that he is actually turning those feelings around. Oh, I’m not naïve! I don’t believe for a minute the Democrats will be on his side unless he gives them everything they want (and I’m not saying he’s above doing that!), but he is slowly showing the leadership style that will most likely change politics forever…both domestically, and on foreign soil.

I’m still taking a wait and see attitude with Trump on most issues. He has had problems working with Congress, he’s had a lot of problems taking the lead on the issues he wants to see passed (as did his predecessor!), and his Tweets are really annoying and bothersome. But, I can’t argue with success, and so far, he’s making a lot of progress. We’ll see….we’ll see.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!


Could It Be A Trump Foreign Policy Win?

Word on the street in Pyongyang is that the Chinese are holding back a supply of gasoline to the hermit kingdom and North Korea is feeling the pinch in a big way. Normally gasoline in the North Korean capital goes for about $2.80 a gallon (they use kilograms over there and it’s about $0.70-0.80 per kilogram). It’s now shot up to over $5.00 a gallon and the North Koreans are starting to get edgy.

There are basically two questions regarding this. The first is, are the Chinese behind the move in an attempt to tell Kim Jong Un to curb his nuclear program? And the second is, is this a foreign policy victory for Donald Trump who has been pressuring the Chinese to help get the North Koreans to listen to reason?

To be honest, it’s been so long since the US has actually HAD a foreign policy win, it’s tough to tell. I’ve forgotten what one looks like. After eight years of bumbling and stumbling and mistakes, gaffes, lies, and just plain stupid moves, I forgot that when someone with an ounce of competence is in the White House, we occasionally get a foreign policy win. And if the Chinese are helping us, that would be a foreign policy win.

What would be an even bigger win is if all Trump had to do was tell the Chinese that he would stop calling them currency manipulators. That’s a relatively small price to pay to eliminate a nuclear threat. And that would be anywhere in the world. Hell, if he could run the same gambit with the Chinese on Iran, he might have to convert to Catholicism and become the next Pope!

Still, there are a LOT of happenings between now and the end of the whole North Korean situation. Frankly, these guys are used to screaming, threatening and crying and then we sit down with them and we give them aid of some sort to stop doing whatever they were doing that irked us. And they go away for a while until they need more money. It’s nothing more than a shakedown really. Only this time, and this is one good thing about having Donald Trump in the White House, they have a rather shrewd negotiator who doesn’t play that game sitting across the table from them. He’s there calling their bluff and they don’t have a very good hand.

I don’t trust Kim very much to do the right thing even with Chinese influence. I think that if this character really feels backed into the corner, say the price of gas goes to the point where no one in the country can afford it, and the country rises up in opposition to him, he COULD just start a nuclear war to get the masses off of his rather large backside. Desperate dictators have done a lot worse throughout human history. And I don’t know how smart he is. I’m kind of on the side that says he’s not insane as some thought, but I don’t know if he really is intelligent either. He was handed the world on a silver platter, and my guess is he is just waiting to piss it all away.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

So IF We Nuked N. Korea, Would Anyone Care?

As I write this, the USS Carl Vinson and its support ships are steaming toward the Korean peninsula. It’s in response to North Korea’s rather belligerent behavior recently. In case you haven’t been following the fat chipmunk and his crew over there, they have been testing nuclear weapons, firing missiles into the China Sea, and have been testing ballistic missiles that are capable of reaching the United States. Of course, Kim Jong Un hasn’t been shy about calling the US his worst enemy. In actuality, I don’t think if he was just leading his hermit country the way he wanted to, anybody in the world would give a rat’s rear end…but since he’s starting to rattle more than a few sabers, it does draw attention. Which begs the question:


Would anybody in the world mind if we just nuked the hell out of them?


I ask the question, not to invoke the typical response of the loss of human life, which of course, would be tragic. The North Korean people have been brain-washed for so long that they believe anything this family tells them. Or at least that’s the story you get coming out of North Korea. But I ask the question in a more political light. Would China really care? Would Russia? I know Iran would, because North Korea has been the ones that have been helping out immensely in their own nuclear program. I doubt the Chinese would mind as long as they got to replace Kim, because he’s been a pain in their backside ever since he took over. Russia probably wouldn’t complain too terribly much either. They’ve got other fish to fry in the Middle East right now, and they still have their sights set on getting the old “gang” back together unified under the USSR if you will.


So the question still stands, if a nuke went off in the middle of Pyongyang, would anybody hear it? The answer is probably not. Now, that’s not saying that they would care one way or the other, but the world probably wouldn’t give a hoot. After all, North Korea is just a hermit country that has a big mouth and a lot of starving people. To blow it up and start again, or at least do it in Pyongyang, may not be the worst thing in the world.


Of course, I would NEVER advocate the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike. I think it’s a terrible weapon, and should only be used as a last resort (unlike the US Senate who apparently LOVE using the nuclear options out there). But it’s an interesting discussion…and it’s one that the North Korean leader is actually bringing on himself. If he thinks he could actually destroy the United States, with whatever few missiles he’s developed, I think he’d be terribly mistaken. But that’s just my thought. And some days, my mind works in weird ways…must be all the clean, fresh desert air!


Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Trump Scores Win At Baden-Baden

The G-20 Summit at Baden-Baden seems to have been a victory for the Trump Administration early on. The whole argument going in was whether Trump and Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin were going to be able to convince our economic allies to do away with a very protectionist attitude when it comes to international trade.

And while the US team didn’t get everything they wanted in the two-day summit, such as an explicit statement in the communique that stated the G-20 would work at making sure “trade is fair”, it did impress the group to the point where they decided not to push protectionism any longer.

It may have had something to do with Donald Trump’s meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel the day before the summit started. Trump told Merkel that the United States had been treated “very, very unfairly” when it came to trade agreements in the past, and that needed to change.

What we are seeing in this agreement is probably very telling as to what the Trump Administration is going to be doing on other fronts as well. The US didn’t hit a grand slam home run, but came away with a win. As Trump had mentioned on the campaign trail several times, and was evident in this negotiation, he looks at trying to take everything from the table at first, and when the other side balks, they begin the negotiations, and eventually get to what he feels is “the art of the deal”. It IS the negotiations that is Donald Trump’s strength, and always has been. And that was on display in Germany during the G-20.

Going forward, are we going to expect the same type of negotiations when it comes to other things that may not be done with a friendly crowd? Are we going to negotiate with the Russians, or the Iranians in the same manner? Are we going to negotiate our way into and out of problems in foreign policy with the same adept manner which was displayed here? Or, are we going to follow Trump’s predecessor who never heard the word “negotiation” and never did it. Basically Bobo Obama gave away the store, the candy, the lot it was on, and most of the street without asking for anything in return, so long as he could say to anyone that would listen that it was good for America. Obviously, in most foreign policy situations, not only did America not believe it, the world didn’t believe it either.

Whether or not Donald Trump will be able to be as successful in negotiating foreign treaties and trade deals internationally as he was real estate deals in New York, Nevada, and Florida remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure…he’s off to a better start than the guy he replaced!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Aleppo Falls To Assad. Thanks, Obama!

Aleppo, Syria is (or was) the rebel stronghold in the Syrian civil war to oust strongman leader Bashar al Assad from power. It was until yesterday when the city fell to Assad forces, Russian and Iranian fighters helping in the struggle for the Assad regime. So, why “Thanks, Obama”?

Well, it’s simple. Bobo Obama’s abortion of a foreign policy, which never really caught on anywhere, and was at best extremely far from successful, was simply allow the chips to fall where they may. He couldn’t see past his nose on anything that involved sending troops into battle. He said going into office that he wasn’t a warrior president, he was a peaceful president, yet he has had a solid eight years of being a war-time president. And he, like all Democrats going back to the days of JFK, was terrible at it.

Obama had several problems in prosecuting war. In Syria, he made threats thinking that tough talk was all it would take in the Middle East to get those guys to shape up. But what he failed to understand was that his diplomacy was as feckless as his Secretaries of State who did absolutely nothing to help the world in eight years in office. It started with the Arab Spring in Egypt when Mubarak was overthrown. It took Obama eons to decide which side he was on. And then he chose the Muslim Brotherhood, which was a terrible choice, and he switched horses in the middle of the stream. Then you had the terribly thought out overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya. He should have learned the lesson that when you overthrow a government, you need to have a competent leader ready to step in. He failed there. These are things the Middle East leaders saw, and were taking notes on.

So, when Obama had the “red line in the sand” speech on December 3, 2012, where he told Syria not to use chemical weapons against their own people, they laughed at him. When the Russians decided to prop up their client, Assad, because of the weak leadership coming from America, Vladimir Putin laughed at Obama and knew that there would be no reprisal coming for his actions. Then he signaled the ayatollahs in Iran to send troops in, because Obama was in the middle of his signature foreign policy achievement, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and wasn’t going to scrap that for Syria. And the ayatollahs laughed at him, because they knew he wasn’t going to do anything.

And when ISIS decided to base themselves in Syria, they didn’t do it because of advice from their travel agent. They knew that US soldiers, the only units they would really be afraid to fight, weren’t going to be there en-masse and fight them, they laughed, and set up their caliphate in Syria. Who could blame them.

So now Aleppo has fallen, and though Obama wasn’t anywhere to be seen, his inaction was the cause of the incident. After a half million Syrians have perished needlessly in their civil war, the rebel capital is overthrown. The fight is not over…yet. But the Americans in charge (that would be Obama) should be ashamed of themselves for turning a blind eye to the cry for help. Obama…their blood is on your hands. And THAT is a lot of blood. Thanks, Obama!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Obama Administration Admits: Iran Deal Sucks

Anybody with a third grade education could have told you (and probably did) that the United States made a terrible deal with the Iranians over their attempt to acquire nuclear weapons. John Kerry, who’s the second weakest Secretary of State in human history (next to “Re-Set Hillary”) basically gave away the store so Barack Obama could have something to hang on the “Foreign Policy” wall of his presidential library. And while they were negotiating it, we were reminded that we’d have inspection privileges (which we don’t have), and we’d walk away from the deal if it were a bad deal (which we didn’t), and it would bring the Iranians more into line with modern society and make them useful members of the world (which it hasn’t).

Well, it turns out Obama and Kerry were wrong on all accounts. State Department spokesperson John Kirby said this week that yes…the US was mistaken in believing that the Iranians would start behaving if we gave them the bomb. With the increased hostilities in the Persian Gulf, and the threats of shooting down US Navy jets over international waters, the Iranians have been anything but co-operative. In fact, the hostility has grown over the past couple of weeks. Not only that, but they have tested five Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s) in violation of United Nations’ sanctions. They got their bomb thanks to Kerry and Obama, and now they are painting clown faces on both of them.

Here’s an idle thought. If some retired guy sitting in the middle of a desert 2,342 miles away from Washington, DC and never having “inside classified information” like Kerry and Obama have about the Iranians can call this one six months ago, and I wasn’t alone, what does that say about the ability of Kerry and Obama to deal with foreign policy? If someone with absolutely NO foreign policy experience, NO negotiations experience (at least on a foreign policy level), and NO inside knowledge of the facts can predict the outcome of a deal six months ahead of it becoming a major disaster and headache for the administration, what does that say? Well, it either says I’m one helluva smart person (sorry…not necessarily true), or they are incredibly naïve and dumb (very true!).

This is one more reason why the world laughs at us. This is one more reason why when you look at this year’s presidential election, you have to wonder if someone like Donald Trump who has no foreign diplomatic policy experience is going to be better than Hillary Clinton who actually initiated the idea of negotiating with the Iranians. Now, I am NOT laying this at her feet because it was the feckless leadership of the president and even worse negotiating skills of John Kerry that caused the mess, but she does have her fingerprints on this one. What does this say about Obama’s leadership abilities? What does this say about John Kerry’s skills as Secretary of State? Why are we being so naïve that we are going to be able to change an enemy’s position by arming them with more and more dangerous weapons…and then handing over the cash for them to pay for it all?

I think it makes us pretty stupid!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Obama’s Last Big Foreign Trip…A Bust

So, Barack Obama was going to make one last splash in foreign policy (kind of like a belly flop?) while he was still in office. In the past seven-plus years it hasn’t been a fruitful area for him to venture into, but he was going to give it one more try. This time it was the G20 summit in China. Well, it didn’t really start out all that well.

When Bobo landed, the Chinese decided not to wheel out the stairs for him to come down. When the press got off the plane (finally), and were shown to the area where they always film the president coming off the plane, there were heckled and told to leave by a group of Chinese. When they explained it was “our airplane and our president”, one angry Chinese told them, “It’s our COUNTRY!”.

There have been several other squabbles between the Chinese and the Americans over things the White House felt had been negotiated eons before, such as where the 12 members of the press that were traveling with the president would be stationed during the meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping. When the American advance team got to the room, they were told there was no room for the 12 member press pool. There was fighting between the two sides when it came to access to the site, and there was fighting about who was going to be allowed in from the White House Staff.

All of this of course, was spun as “minor inconveniences that we normally experience in a foreign country” by the White House. But then again, it just underscores the lack of respect that the Obama administration has been receiving around the world due to the president’s lack of decision making skills. China, like Russia, has decided long ago with this guy that they can now take full advantage of America because the president isn’t going to do anything about their aggressive behavior. Oh, they’ll talk a good game in public, and for the media, but behind the scenes? Nope…it’s run roughshod over Bobo and leave tire-marks on his forehead. This is just one of the many problems the United States gets to encounter because we have a commander-in-chief that is scared to make tough decisions.

What about the Spratley Island controversy? What about Chinese hacking of American companies? What about trade imbalances, and currency manipulations? Where do you think the Chinese are going to cave in any of these negotiations? The answer is simple. They aren’t going to cave. They are going to push until somebody pushes back at them. Russia is doing the same think with Ukraine and Crimea. And the US response has been non-existent. And like Hitler in the 1930’s, both of these countries are going to keep pushing until they start World War III. Of course, Obama will be out of office at that point, so it won’t be his fault. After all, he can’t be blamed for anything that happened after he left office (hello Iran Nuclear agreement?).

The man has been a loser as a president. No foreign policy accomplishments, just foreign policy caves. And he has made the United States the laughing stock of the world. And we are seriously considering putting someone in as a successor that wants to continue the same policies? If we do, we have no one to blame but ourselves!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!