Friday, May 26, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Our Boy President

UPDATE:  "For months now, Trump’s vice president, secretary of state, defense secretary and national security adviser have bent over backward trying to confirm our commitment to NATO. In just one appearance, Trump undid months of work and handed Russia’s Vladimir Putin a symbolic victory. . .

Thomas Donnelly of the American Enterprise Institute argues, 'The failure to reconfirm Article V of the NATO charter — a failure to meet an explicit expectation — becomes the headline of the whole trip, especially in the context of the browbeating he administered in the speech. This trip, above all, was meant to reassure allies around the world that, after [former president Barack] Obama, the United States would again be a reliable partner.' He adds, 'Trump is not ‘leading from behind’ but kicking our allies in the [rear end].' . .

Trump lacks impulse control to such an extent that whatever flashes through his brain (Pay up, NATO! I got the intel from Israel!) comes out of his mouth. Indeed, the New York Times has reported that aides are careful in briefing not to tell him something he shouldn’t say; that apparently only increases the chances he will blurt it out. This is the behavior of a 7-year-old, not the leader of the free world.

The entire purpose of Trump’s trip was to show leadership and solidarity with allies. In flubbing his best opportunity to do so with our closest allies in our most important alliance, he reminded them, the American people and our adversaries that he is not ready for prime time."

Read the Washington Post, No, Trump can’t get through a trip without creating chaos.

One was "the boy-King of Westeros, while the other is the 45th President of the United States.

But according to Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin, Joffrey Baratheon and Donald Trump are one-and-the-same.

'I think Joffrey is now the king in America,' the multi-millionaire author said during an interview with Esquire magazine.

'And he's grown up just as petulant and irrational as he was when he was thirteen in the books', Martin added. . .

In the same interview Kit Harrington, the actor behind Jon Snow, also couldn't resist taking a dig a Trump.

He told the magazine: 'Mr. Donald Trump - I wouldn't call him President, I'll call him Mister. I think this man at the head of your country is a con artist.'"

Read the Daily Mail, Game of Thrones creator likens Trump to arch-villain Joffrey and says President is 'petulant and irrational'.

Trump's Big CON: Make Saudi Arabia (Which Supports Terrorism) Great Again

Read the Washington Post, How Saudi Arabia played Donald Trump, which stated in part:
"For five decades, Saudi Arabia has spread its narrow, puritanical and intolerant version of Islam — originally practiced almost nowhere else — across the Muslim world. Osama bin Laden was Saudi, as were 15 of the 19?9/11 terrorists. . .

[I]n recent years the Saudi government, along with Qatar, has been 'providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [the Islamic State] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.' Saudi nationals make up the second-largest group of foreign fighters in the Islamic State and, by some accounts, the largest in the terrorist group’s Iraqi operations. The kingdom is in a tacit alliance with al-Qaeda in Yemen.

The Islamic State draws its beliefs from Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi version of Islam. . . .

[And] Saudi money is now transforming European Islam. . .

In Kosovo, the New York Times’ Carlotta Gall describes the process by which a 500-year-old tradition of moderate Islam is being destroyed. . .

Trump’s speech on Islam was nuanced and showed empathy for the Muslim victims of jihadist terrorism (who make up as much as 95 percent of the total, by one estimate). He seemed to zero in on the problem when he said, 'No discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists .?.?. safe harbor, financial backing and the social standing needed for recruitment.'

But Trump was talking not of his host, Saudi Arabia, but rather of Iran. Now, to be clear, Iran is a destabilizing force in the Middle East and supports some very bad actors. But it is wildly inaccurate to describe it as the source of jihadist terror. According to an analysis of the Global Terrorism Database by Leif Wenar of King’s College London, more than 94 percent of deaths caused by Islamic terrorism since 2001 were perpetrated by the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other Sunni jihadists. Iran is fighting those groups, not fueling them. Almost every terrorist attack in the West has had some connection to Saudi Arabia. Virtually none has been linked to Iran.

Trump has adopted the Saudi line on terrorism, which deflects any blame from the kingdom and redirects it toward Iran. The Saudis showered Trump’s inexperienced negotiators with attention, arms deals and donations to a World Bank fund that Ivanka Trump is championing. (Candidate Trump wrote in a Facebook post in 2016, 'Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!') In short, the Saudis played Trump."