As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital HELPS Mideast Peace

That’s right. All the conventional, in-the-box thinking you’re hearing about how President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – which, de facto, it already is – and move the embassy there actually increases to prospects for an eventual negotiated settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians. Even supporters of the move who say, Well, it’s just the right thing to do, don’t understand that it also makes sense strategically.

Here’s why.

As Trump the dealmaker knows, you don’t negotiate from a position of weakness. And you don’t, as Barack Obama was fond of doing, show that you are willing to cave to the incessant and unreasonable demands of your adversaries.

What Trump did Wednesday was demonstrate to the Arab world, a violent arena of ruthless Darwinian struggle, that he isn’t cowed by the usual tactic deployed by Israel’s enemies of threatening to unleash Jihads and Intifadas to get their way. The Arabs are now made to understand that there is a completely different character in the White House, one who is willing to make a deal with them, but not if they engage in activities that only draw the sides further apart.

In the short term, there may be some violence. And of course, the Arab states have issued the obligatory denunciations of the move, treated by the press as thundering declarations of consequence that could ruin Trump’s outreach to Saudi Arabia’s princes and other Arab leaders. But in reality, this is little more than pro forma commentary by states that know they need the United States to combat actual existential threats like Islamist extremism and Iran.

Whatever violence prompted by Hamas and the like will dissipate, because its instigators know it is of no use. This is not a president, like the previous one, who is instinctually sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and is prone to, for example, wetting his pants and invite the Russians into the Middle East when a punk like Syrian dictator Bashar Assad crosses his “red line” by launching chemical weapons. The current president responded to the same provocation by swiftly dispatching a few cruise missiles toward Damascus. No more chemical weapons.

Trump’s strategy with the Jerusalem recognition is actually subtler and more marked by long-range, strategic thought than the knee-jerk, surface analyses of the intellectuals who despise him as a fool. Trump’s approach is reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s in 1981, when rather than caving to the illegal demands of striking air control tower workers, he fired them, even at risk of having a plane crash blamed on his action. The move was noticed in Moscow which, like the Arab world today, understood it had a new and tougher adversary in the West Wing and would not be able to roll him over with threats and demands.

When people get that their adversary won’t be indulging their bellicosity and folding when they bluff, they are more likely to make the kind of concessions that can lead to a deal. The Palestinians are on notice, if they are even serious about peace: They will either get something that is fair to both sides, or they will get nothing. And their leaders will understand that in the long term they will lose the support of their own people if they unleash violence that leads to little but contempt from America and retaliation from Israel.

Reagan’s motto was peace through strength. It works. Just ask the free people of Eastern Europe.

Trump Rebuts Corker “World War III” Charge

President Trump Tuesday rebutted a contention by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., that Trump’s “reckless” behavior was putting the United States on a path toward World War III.

Trump took questions today from reporters during a visit to the Oval Office by Henry Kissinger:

Question: Mr. President, is Senator Corker right that you’re putting the U.S. on the path to World War III?

Trump: We were on the wrong path before. All you have to do is take a look. If you look over the last 25 years through numerous administrations, we were on a path to a very big problem — a problem like this world has never seen. We’re on the right path right now, believe me.

He’s right. He’s exactly right. If anyone put us on a path toward World War III, it was Corker. He arranged things in the Senate so that instead of Barack Obama needing a two-thirds majority to approve the Iran treaty, as required under the Constitution, a two-thirds majority was needed to reject the deal. The agreement, of course, allows Iran to make nuclear weapons in about a decade.

Sounds like World War III to me.

Many who supported Trump worry about his rashness. But they believe he was well worth the risk.

The fact is that nothing has gotten us closer to the abyss, whether it’s the debt, ISIS, or nuclear weapons for North Korea and Iran, than the cool, calm heads that reign in the Washington establishment. These people ultimately believe that other countries think like we do and can be persuaded by reason. They can’t.

American voters reasoned that Trump is someone who won’t accept the status quo that is potentially leading us to doom. They decided he was bold enough and strong enough in his beliefs that he would do something to change it. He’s not a pussy, and he doesn’t assume that Ayatollah Khamenei “gets it.” And that makes Trump a lot less dangerous than Barack Obama, who was afraid to act and who didn’t understand other cultures as well as Trump does.

That’s right, Trump gets foreigners better than Obama.

Here’s Trump with Kissinger. Earlier, a crane had deposited Kissinger into his seat, where he awaited Trump.

Obama Interior Secretaries Spent $1M on Non-Commercial Travel

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is under fire for spending some $73,000 over the first eight months of the Trump administration on non-commercial travel.

That actually puts him below the pace of such spending by Barack Obama’s Interior Secretaries, who spent about $1 million over seven years.

So why didn’t we hear about it then? Because with Barack Obama now gone and a Republican in office, the press has gotten excited again about investigative reporting, that’s why.

According to CNN:

Just over $971,000 was spent on non-commercial travel for interior secretaries in the Obama administration during a seven-year period, according to records obtained by CNN.

That would include travel on both chartered planes as well as on Interior Department aircraft.

The Interior Department submitted records detailing the non-commercial travel of former secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, saying $971,634 was spent on 81 trips. It came as part of a request to various Cabinet departments for their non-commercial travel records following recent controversy over Cabinet secretaries’ travel.

The non-commercial travel for current Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has so far cost $72,849 on six trips since he took office in March.

Props to CNN for doing a little journalism.

Obama, Clinton Silent on Weinstein

UPDATE: The criticism finally got to her. Hillary Clinton said Tuesday, “I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein.” Here is the original story posted this morning: Oh my goodness. The two great moral leaders of our time. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the greatest champions of women we’ve known since Ted Kennedy.… Continue Reading

Manchester Can Thank Obama and Clinton for Making Libya A Terrorist Haven

The latest news indicates that the British-born citizen of Libyan extraction who committed terrorist bombing in Manchester this week had ties to Islamists in his parent’s home country. Now you remember who is responsible for the situation in Libya, don’t you? From the Washington Post: In Libya, meanwhile, an official said counterterrorism authorities have arrested… Continue Reading

Pence to North Korea: “The Era of Strategic Patience is Over”

It is. It has to be. There are certain bottom lines to U.S. foreign policy that cannot be altered or avoided. One is that a North Korean regime with nuclear weapons that can hit the United States is an intolerable, existential threat that must be prevented at any cost. Vice President Mike Pence Monday travelled… Continue Reading

Romney’s Brilliant Maneuver

Gov. Mitt Romney today pulled a bold move in the final debate with President Obama, opting for relatively limited verbal combat with his opponent while instead showcasing his knowledge of foreign affairs, adopting a presidential demeanor, and offering a sense of optimism for the future. This strategy was the political equivalent of the Muhammed Ali… Continue Reading