What The Biden Administration’s Foreign Policy Has Accomplished

The Biden administration’s foreign policy has successfully brought chaos out or order. Somehow they have forgotten which country they are supposed to represent. By backing our foes and treating our friends badly, they have created instability where there was stability. Since October 7th we have heard much criticism of Israel and how it is handling the war against Hamas, but we have heard very little about the hostages Hamas is still holding or Hamas’ practice of using civilians as human shields. We have also funded Hamas through ‘humanitarian aid’ and releasing money to Iran.

On Saturday, Fred Fleitz posted an article at American Greatness about the need for America to return to the America First policies of President Trump.

The article reports:

There is only one word to describe the result of President Biden’s foreign policy: chaos.

…Moreover, because of his differences with Israel over the war in Gaza, last week Biden said he was withholding weapons from Israel that recently were approved by Congress. But this week, the Biden administration said it was moving forward on a new $1 billion arms deal for Israel.

Adding to this confusion, the Washington Post reported on May 13 that the Biden administration is withholding sensitive intelligence on Hamas and is refusing to share this information until the Netanyahu government makes concessions to not launch a full-scale raid into the southern Gaza city of Rafah. This intelligence reportedly concerns the whereabouts of Hamas’s leadership and Hamas tunnels in southern Gaza.

Think about that. President Biden is actually withholding terrorism-related intelligence from a close U.S. ally while it is at war against a terrorist group.

And it gets worse. Iran fired over 300 missiles and drones at Israel on April 13, the first Iranian attack ever against targets on Israeli soil. There have been more than 150 attacks by Iranian proxies against U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria since October 2023. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have fired dozens of advanced drones and missiles against ships in the Red Sea since last October. And the Biden administration’s refusal to enforce U.S. sanctions against Iran caused its revenues to be $71 billion greater by last fall than they would have been if Trump-era sanctions had been enforced.

The article notes:

We have witnessed a profound deterioration in international security since 2021, not just because of the Biden administration’s national security incompetence but also because of the president’s deliberate decision to reverse the successful national security strategy of the Trump administration and replace it with failed policies of the past.

This Trump strategy is called the America First approach to U.S. national security. This strategy brought our country a period of peace, kept U.S. troops out of new conflicts abroad, and resulted in important foreign policy achievements such as the Abraham Accords.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There is a way out of this mess.

Regardless of what you think of President Trump, his foreign policy made the world a safer place.

The ‘Chamberlain Approach’ Has Never Worked

Those of us who grew up before the age of ‘reconciliation’ with bullies know how to deal with bullies–you beat them up severely and they never bother you again. Unfortunately, America’s leaders forgot that principle shortly after World War II. Now, because they have forgotten that principle, they are on the verge of starting World War III. Neville Chamberlain was the Prime Minister of England from May 28, 1937, to May 10, 1940. In the Munich Agreement of September 30, 1938, he and Premier Édouard Daladier of France granted almost all of Hitler’s demand that Czechoslovakia cede the Sudetenland to Germany. That agreement left Czechoslovakia defenseless.  Neville Chamberlain returned to England after signing the Munich Agreement a popular hero, speaking of “peace with honour” (echoing an earlier prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli) and “peace for our time.” His intentions were good–he wanted to prevent war. However, it didn’t turn out well. Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939.

On April 14th, The U.K. Daily Mail reported the following:

  • President Biden has made it clear to Benjamin Netanyahu that US forces will not join offensive operations against Iran, according to reports 
  • The comments were made by Biden during a phone call between the two leaders after Iran unleashed a drone and missile attack on Israel 
  • Biden released a statement following the call between the two leaders saying it had reaffirmed America’s ‘ironclad commitment to the security of Israel’ 

How can America have an ‘ironclad commitment to the security of Israel’ if we tell them not to attack the people who are attacking them?

The following was also noted at The Gateway Pundit on April 13th:

Tonight, as Iran launches attacks on Israel, it is important to remember that exactly one month ago the Biden administration granted new sanctions relief to Iran that gave the country access to billions.

The move was criticized by Republicans and downplayed by Democrats and the liberal media.

It’s just another reminder that Biden has a habit of making the exact wrong decision on foreign policy every single time.

It is very possible that America paid for the drones used against Israel.

America First: Military Defense Part II

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

This is a follow-up to a prior article where I outlined how our foreign policy should return to the principle of America First, which was advocated by our Founding Fathers. This article focuses on specific actions that should be taken for our defense. While I am admittedly not a military planning expert, these suggestions are based on common sense; a characteristic sorely missing in many of our current defense leadership who seem more focused on their “woke” agenda.

We are living in a dangerous time. During the Cold War, we only had to worry about the Soviet Union from the standpoint of nuclear conflict. Now with China, Russia, North Korea, Pakistan, and soon Iran, having nuclear capability, the situation is far more complex and dangerous. First: one of the things that President Reagan wisely did was to encourage the development of an effective missile defense system. This was not continued by subsequent administrations. We need to return to developing a missile defense system. If we don’t, we will be at the mercy of any rogue country that decides to launch an attack. Second: we need to establish a satellite defense system that will protect our essential satellites without which a modern war cannot be fought. President Trump’s decision to create an effective Space Force needs to be strongly supported. Third: we need to fortify and secure our electrical power grid from sabotage or direct attack. This must also include protecting the computer programs that control these systems. One of the dumbest proposals from the Left is offshore wind farms. I cannot think of anything more vulnerable than a power system fifty miles away from our shores. Fourth, we need to consolidate our current military forces. According to a recent article in the Epoch Times, we have over 200,000 military personnel scattered all over the globe. We need to refocus these deployments and encourage our allies to support their own defenses. Europe, South Korea, and Japan for example, should not be relying on us for their defense. We are 34 trillion dollars in debt!. Fifth, we need to focus on ensuring that we have the strongest Navy in the world. We should use this force as needed and then return them to proximity to our shores where their vulnerability to attack is lessoned as compared to stationing naval fleets all over the world. Sixth, we need to return to the principle contained in the Monroe Doctrine that declared the Western Hemisphere to be off limits to our adversaries. Allowing China to infiltrate countries like Venezuela and Ecuador is contrary to our interests.

The last item is dealing with the drug cartels in Mexico. The weaponization of mass illegal migration, is a direct threat of our survival as a country. The influx of fentanyl is estimated to kill 100,000 Americans each year and is now the greatest cause of death of American men between the age of 19 and 45. We fought terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. When are we going to get serious and destroy the drug cartels? That is a fight worth having.

The above will require a refocusing of our defense efforts. However, continuing what we have been doing is no longer tenable.

America First: Defense Part I

Author: R. Alan Harrop, PhD

In another recent article, I wrote about the importance of putting America First (as advocated by the Founding Fathers) and ensuring that we have a strong economy not dependent of other countries for essential manufactures, medical supplies and food. This article will focus on what we should be doing to protect our country from current and future adversaries.

There were two essential principles of the America First policy of the Founding Fathers. The first was avoiding foreign wars that did not directly impact on our security; and the second was to focus on ensuring that the Western Hemisphere did not become controlled by our adversaries from other parts of the world (i.e. The Monroe Doctrine). The Founding Fathers would be dismayed that some of our leaders have increasingly advocated that we are obligated to defend other countries anywhere in the world that are threatened or attacked. This progressive, globalist idea has us acting as the world’s policeman to keep the world “ Safe for Democracy” This idea, advocated by Woodrow Wilson, has led us into many wars where we actually failed, made things worse, and as a consequence are increasingly seen as weak and not a country to be afraid of offending. This is not good for our security since it invites more aggression.

A good example, was our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the attacks on 9/11. Instead of just identifying the enemy, hitting them with overwhelming force, and then leaving; the elitist leaders of our country decided we should turn both those countries into democracies. After wasting trillions of dollars (which we don’t have) and the lives of our patriotic military personnel, we are in many ways worse than before. Iran is in ascendance and the Taliban was left with $85 billion dollars of the finest military equipment. Also, our worst adversary, China, has taken over a military airbase we built! Of course, our leaders never asked us if this is what we wanted. They just took it upon themselves since they know best. These things would never have happened if we had followed the American First principle of our Founding Fathers.

We are perceived as so weak, that a group of Houthi rebels in Yemen attack our ships and those of other countries with impunity. This reminds me of the wars with the Barbary Pirates who captured our ships and enslaved our sailors in the early 1800s. Along with a couple of allies, we hit them hard and stopped their attacks on our ships. We should do likewise with the Houthis. Hit them with overwhelming force and stop matching them shot for shot.

As far as protecting our hemisphere is concerned, China has been steadily increasing its influence over several South American countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil and Chile. China extends loans that then make those countries dependent on their relationship with China. For example, China has loaned over $60 billion to Venezuela some of which was used for military equipment to suppress the uprising against communist dictator President Maduro. China builds its own seaports and other facilities that can be used to offset our influence in the Western Hemisphere. This is part of China’s Belt and Road project that has the objective of controlling the global world order.

In summary, it is time for America to re-evaluate our commitments and foreign policy to ensure that we are focused on what is best for America.

This Shouldn’t Even Be Constitutional

On Monday, The Federalist posted an article about the Ukraine spending bill that just passed the Senate. Hopefully it will die in the House of Representatives–it protects everyone’s border but America’s!

The article reports:

A Ukraine aid supplemental negotiated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate GOP leadership includes a provision setting the stage for a potential third impeachment of Donald Trump, according to Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance.

“The supplemental represents an attempt by the foreign policy blob/deep state to stop President Trump from pursuing his desired policy, and if he does so anyways, to provide grounds to impeach him and undermine his administration,” Vance wrote in a letter sent to congressional Republicans on Monday. “All Republicans should oppose its passage.”

Vance’s letter is in reference to a $95 billion aid package advanced by the Senate on Sunday, which includes funding for (mostly) Ukraine, as well as Israel and Taiwan. Noticeably, the measure — which was supported by 18 Republicans — does not address the ongoing invasion at the U.S. southern border.

Just as Congress is not supposed to pass laws that limit or control the actions of future Congresses, Congress should not be allowed to pass a law that limits the foreign policy of a future President. 

The article notes:

“If President Trump were to withdraw from or pause financial support for the war in Ukraine in order to bring the conflict to a peaceful conclusion, ‘over the objections of career experts,’” as Democrats claimed in their 2019 impeachment of Trump, “it would amount to the same fake violation of budget law from the first impeachment, under markedly similar facts and circumstances,” Vance wrote. An anonymous U.S. official told The Washington Post last month that the Biden administration is hoping to provide “’future-proof’ aid for Ukraine against the possibility that former president Donald Trump wins his reelection bid.”

In recent days, the Senate has proposed a horrible border bill followed up by a horrible foreign aid bill. Neither bill did anything significant to help with American border security. If this continues, we need a new Senate.

In Case You Had Any Doubt

On Friday, Breitbart reported that the current leader of Iran had confirmed in a speech given on Wednesday that the policy of his regime is to destroy America. Remind me again why we are attempting to broker a nuclear treaty with Iran.

The article reports:

The “supreme leader” of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared in an address on Wednesday that the common chant of “Death to America” in his country is “not just a slogan – it is a policy,” one his regime intended to bring to fruition.

Khamenei was reportedly delivering remarks on Iranian regime-controlled television regarding the ongoing conflict between the nation of Israel and the Hamas genocidal terrorist organization, which Iran funds to the tune of tens of millions of dollars a year. The Iranian regime has enthusiastically embraced Hamas following its harrowing October 7 terrorist attack against civilians in Israel, which featured door-to-door slaughters of entire families in their homes, the mass killing, torture, and rape of attendees at a peace music festival, and evidence of gruesome killings of infants as young as newborns. The “al-Aqsa flood,” as Hamas branded its killings that day, took the lives of more than 1,400 people in Israel; another 250 are believed to still be held hostage by Hamas in its stronghold of Gaza.

The article continues:

Khamenei expanded his hateful remarks against Israel on Wednesday by declaring that, given America’s longstanding support for that country, “Death to America” was a core goal of his regime’s foreign policy.

“The situation between America and Iran is this: When you chant ‘Death to America!’ it is not just a slogan – it is a policy,” Khamenei said, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “I have stated the reasons previously. For many years, from the 1940s to the 1970s – that is 30 years – the Americans did everything they could do against the Iranian nation.”

“They hit Iran in any way they could – financially, economically, politically, scientifically, and morally,” the elderly despot continued.

I’m not convinced that you can make peace with people who want to kill you.

Telling It Like It Is

On Wednesday, The Hill posted an article that included a few rather blunt comments from Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana.

The article reports:

Republican Sen. John Kennedy (La.) dug into President Biden’s foreign policy on Iran on Tuesday, claiming he would “take away” the president’s car keys if he were his son.

“When I look at President Biden in terms of his international affairs, national security and his domestic policy over the last two years and change — if it were my father, I’d take away his car keys, much less … the entire country, and I think … that’s what most Americans are thinking right now,” Kennedy said in an interview on Fox Business’s “The Bottom Line.”

The Senator also noted:

President Trump put tough, tough sanctions on Iran, so it couldn’t export its oil,” Kennedy said. “Those sanctions are still there, but President Biden hasn’t enforced them. So now, instead of … producing and exporting 500,000 barrels a day, Iran is exporting 1.4 million a day, and its foreign reserves have doubled. We had Iran down, and we were choking them economically.”

“President Biden, because he thought if he was a nice guy, Iran would cooperate in terms of its nuclear weapons — he let them up, and on top of that, he gave them … tried to give them $6 billion cash,” Kennedy continued, in reference to Biden’s prisoner swap with Iran last month that allowed for the release of $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds.

The war in Israel would end quickly if the economic sanctions were put back on Iran and the aid to Gaza was stopped. The actions of America and the European Union are funding this war. The war in Ukraine could be stopped with American energy independence. All we need to do is drop the cost of oil so that Russia cannot afford to continue to war with Ukraine. Unfortunately too many people make too much money during a war, and those people make massive campaign donations.

Losing Energy Independence

There are two groups of people who are attempting to end America’s energy independence–OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and the Democrat Party. OPEC is fighting American energy independence because it represents competition and loss of OPEC’s worldwide influence. I am not really sure what the Democrat Party stands to gain by fighting American energy independence except that the position opposes President Trump’s position, which seems to be their platform–if President Trump is for it, we’re against it.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the resistance to America’s energy independence.

The article reported:

The battle to win U.S. energy independence has been long, hard and well worth it but the industry is facing new foreign threats from OPEC as well as right here at home from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Biden wants to ban U.S. fracking, which was the key to our winning the war of energy independence. The former vice president at one point has said “no new fracking” — which, because of the nature of the shale decline rate, would end the U.S. shale revolution. This would not only cost the U.S. thousands of high-paying jobs, it would allow other countries to fill the void and produce more oil and gas.

…Biden has also said he has a goal to completely eliminate fossil fuels. While all men are created equal, energy sources are not. The move to fossil fuel alternatives in the near future is not reasonable and handicapping the U.S. energy industry will only put U.S. energy security at risk.

In fact, because of demand drops due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, many alternative fuels have also seen setbacks in investment and are not viable. The truth is the road to get the world off of fossil fuels will be much longer than the original goal of energy independence and in some form, we will be using fossil fuels for energy for generations to come.

Having a presidential contender looking to curb the U.S. energy industry comes at a time when threats from foreign actors are rising amid allegations they have conspired to try to bankrupt the U.S. energy industry so that we return to depending on them for our economic and national security.

While Saudi Arabia and Russia denied it, many believe that the goal of an oil production war in the midst of COVID-19’s oil demand collapse was to once and for all neutralize and bury the hard-won U.S. energy independence.

Does anyone remember the gasoline crisis of the 1970’s? Because we were almost totally dependent on foreign oil, we had gas lines and high gasoline prices. Does anyone really want to do that again? Energy independence is an economic issue, a national security issue, and a geopolitical issue. It determines our economy, our national security, and can influence our foreign policy. The less dependent we are on foreign oil, the more free we are to stand up to tyrants in countries with large supplies of oil. Energy independence should not even be debatable–it it necessary for the survival of our republic.

Saving The Taxpayers Money While Draining The Swamp

Yesterday The New York Post reported that National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien has dramatically cut down the size of the National Security Council.

The article reports:

The job cuts are an attempt to streamline the foreign policy outfit, which ballooned under the Obama administration to almost 240 staffers — still up from 115 during Condoleezza Rice’s tenure as George W. Bush’s NSA in the early 2000s, a senior White House official said.

By the end of this summer, the NSC will consist of just 105 staff, the official said.

The changes come as O’Brien — Trump’s fourth national security adviser — tries to remake the forum in his image after replacing fiery predecessor John Bolton, who was ousted last October following a high-profile dispute with the president.

…Trump reportedly instructed O’Brien to substantially reduce the size of the agency shortly after he arrived at the White House — an effort O’Brien detailed in a Washington Post opinion piece.

At the time, the foreign policy operation was at the center of an impeachment inquiry sparked by a whistleblower complaint related to the agency’s work.

“Under previous administrations, the NSC more than doubled in size and duplicated many of the functions of DoD, State and the intelligence community,” O’Brien told The Post on Tuesday.

“Under President Trump, we have brought the NSC back to its proper size and role as a coordinating body,” he continued.

“To make that happen we require the best leaders, many of whom are women. Our goal is always to find the very best professionals for each job, and I am very proud of the team we have assembled at the NSC to further President Trump’s agenda,” he said.

In 2016, Republicans in both houses of Congress introduced bills that would have slashed the NSC staff to no more than 150 people — legislation the Obama administration opposed.

Created by President Harry Truman in 1947, the NSC is an interagency panel that advises and assists the president on national security and foreign policy.

It should also be noted that the President also cut 70 Obama-era holdovers from the National Security Agency in February.

The deep state is slowly being removed.

Sometimes The News Is Just Silly

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about a recent comment made by a CBS news anchor. It is an amazing comment.

The article reports:

CBS This Morning anchor and Barack Obama donor Gayle King gushed over Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams on Tuesday morning, saying the former state legislator and failed gubernatorial candidate is “extremely qualified” to be vice president of the United States.

Abrams is openly lobbying to serve as Joe Biden’s running mate come November, despite never being elected to any office beyond the state legislature. As she touted her voting rights work and “competence and skills and willingness to serve,” King cut in to praise her as ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

“That’s a great nuts and bolts answer because everybody knows you’re extremely qualified,” King said. “I’m looking for something about Stacey Abrams the person. Why is she a good choice and have you had any talks at all with the Biden team?”

What is the world are her qualifications? The article notes that Abrams has never held a position higher than House minority leader in the Georgia legislature. It also notes that she told Elle magazine in an article published April 15 that her credentials for vice president included “25 years in independent study of foreign policy.” Exactly what does that mean?

The article also notes:

Outside of her political career, Abrams is a noted romance novelist, publishing several books under the pen name “Selena Montgomery.” CBS is currently adapting one of her novels, Never Tell, into a TV drama.

Keep in mind that if Joe Biden is the Democrat nominee for President, his choice of running mate is extremely important. The videos Joe Biden is making in his basement don’t show a man who would be able to handle the job of president, so it is likely his vice-president will assume the office sometime during his first term if Joe Biden is elected. Stacy Abrams may be a very nice person, but she has never actually run a business or exhibited leadership skills. Her claim to fame is that the Georgia gubernatorial election was stolen from her by suppressed voter turnout when the numbers actually show increased voter turnout. No objective person looking at her resume would in any way describe her as extremely qualified.

Ignoring The Law Because You Think You Can

On Tuesday, CNS News reported the following:

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) confirmed Tuesday that he met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the sidelines of a security conference in Germany at the weekend, justifying his decision to do so by saying that “if [President] Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should.”

There is little doubt that Iran is an enemy of America. Why is a member of Congress meeting with their Foreign Minister?

The article continues:

Murphy said he also wanted to request the Iranian regime’s help in bringing the civil war in Yemen to an end; and to push for the release of Americans incarcerated in Iran.

“I don’t know whether my visit with Zarif will make a difference. I’m not the President or the Secretary of State – I’m just a rank and file U.S. Senator,” Murphy wrote.

“I cannot conduct diplomacy on behalf of the whole of the U.S. government, and I don’t pretend to be in a position to do so.”

“But if Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should. And Congress is a co-equal branch of government, responsible along with the Executive for setting foreign policy. A lack of dialogue leaves nations guessing about their enemy’s intentions, and guessing wrong can lead to catastrophic mistakes.”

Senator Murphy may consider Congress a ‘co-equal branch of government,’ but the President is the person who conducts foreign policy. Congressmen on their own do not have that authority.

The article concludes:

The 1799 Logan Act prohibits unauthorized persons from negotiating with foreign governments which have a dispute with the United States. No-one has been convicted for violating the act.

In 2015, 47 Republican senators signed a letter to the Iranian regime suggesting that a nuclear agreement between President Obama and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would be an executive agreement which another president or Congress would be empowered to abrogate.

The initiative prompted some critics to invoke the Logan Act.

Among the Democrats who condemned the letter was Murphy, who accused the signatories of “undermining the president.”

“I can’t even imagine the uproar if Democratic senators [had been] writing to Saddam Hussein in the lead up to the Iraq War,” Murphy told the National Journal at the time.

I guess that was then and this is now. It’s amazing how quickly the rules change for the Democrats.

Hungary Steps Up To The Plate

The Gatestone Institute posted an article today about Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is the only European leader who is willing to protect the persecuted Christians fleeing the Muslim onslaught in the Middle East. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It gives detailed information about what is currently happening to Christians in the Middle East.

The article reports:

  • “Those we are helping now can give us the greatest help in saving Europe. We are giving persecuted Christians what they need: homes, hospitals, and schools, and we receive in return what Europe needs most: a Christian faith, love and perseverance”. — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Daily News Hungary, November 28, 2019.
  • “Our estimation is that more than 90 percent of Christian have already left Iraq and almost 50 percent of Christians in Syria have left the country”. — Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church.
  • European leaders, rather than being embarrassed, should make the condition of Christians under Islam the starting point of their conversations with Muslims.
  • “The fate of Eastern Christians and other minorities is the prelude to our own fate.” — Former French Prime Minister François Fillon, Valeurs Actuelles, December 12, 2019.

The article notes that western countries are not reacting to the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

The article reports:

In Europe, however, there is a solitary defender of persecuted Christians: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whom the mainstream media love to peck at and attack. No other European government has invested so much money, public diplomacy and time on this topic. Writing in Foreign Policy, Peter Feaver and Will Inboden explain that aid to Christians come from “a few international relief organizations like the Knights of Columbus and Aid to the Church in Need, and the Hungarian government”. The Knights of Columbus alone raised $2 million to rebuild the Christian Iraqi town of Karamlesh.

“Those we are helping now can give us the greatest help in saving Europe,” Orbán recently said at an international conference, On Christian Persecution 2019, that he organized in Budapest. “We are giving persecuted Christians what they need: homes, hospitals, and schools, and we receive in return what Europe needs most: a Christian faith, love and perseverance”. “Europe is quiet,” Orbán went on. “A mysterious force shuts the mouths of European politicians and cripples their arms.” He said the issue of Christian persecution could only be considered a human rights issue in Europe. He insisted that “Christians are not allowed to be mentioned on their own, only together with other groups that are being persecuted for their faiths.” The persecution of Christians “is therefore folded into the diverse family of persecuted religious groups”.

According to Tristan Azbej, Hungary’s State Secretary for the Aid to Persecuted Christians, Orbán’s is the first European government to have a special State Secretariat “which has only one duty: To look after and monitor the destiny and the situation of the Christian communities all over the world, and if there is a need, we help.”

All western nations need to take part in saving the Christians that are being killed or marginalized in the Middle East. Some of the world’s most ancient Christian communities have been destroyed in the past few years. Western countries need to give these endangered minorities priority status in their refugee programs.

A New Role For America

Yahoo Finance is reporting today that America has posted its first full month as a net exporter of crude and petroleum products since government records began in 1949.

The article reports:

The nation exported 89,000 barrels a day more than it imported in September, according to data from the Energy Information Administration Friday. While the U.S. has previously reported net exports on a weekly basis, today’s figures mark a key milestone that few would have predicted just a decade ago, before the onset of the shale boom.

President Donald Trump has touted American energy independence, saying that the nation is moving away from relying on foreign oil. While the net exports show decreasing reliance on imports, the U.S. still continues to buy heavy crude oil from other nations to meet the needs of its refineries. It also buys refined products when they are available for a lower cost from foreign suppliers.

“The U.S. return to being a net exporter serves to remind how the oil industry can deliver surprises — in this case, the shale oil revolution – that upend global oil prices, production, and trade flows,” said Bob McNally, a former energy adviser to President George W. Bush and president of the consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group.

Soaring output from shale deposits led by the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico has been in main driver of the transition — but America’s status as a net exporter may be fragile. Many Texas wildcatters are predicting a rapid decline in production growth next year, while some Democratic contenders for the White House have called for a ban on fracking — the controversial drilling technique that unleashed the boom.

The article concludes:

Analysts at Rystad Energy said this week the U.S. is only months away from achieving energy independence, citing surging oil and gas output as well as the growth of renewables.

“Going forward, the United States will be energy independent on a monthly basis, and by 2030 total primary energy production will outpace primary energy demand by about 30%,” said Sindre Knutsson, vice president of Rystad Energy’s gas markets team.

So what does energy independence mean? It means that our foreign policy is no longer determined by our energy needs, but by forming alliances with countries with similar goals. It means that a change in the world production of oil will not result in the gas lines we saw in America in the 1970’s. It means that if Russia plays politics with the energy it supplies to Europe, we have the ability to step in and fill the need–ending the constant threat that Russia will cut off Europe’s fuel supply in the dead of winter. It means that in case of war, our ships and airplanes will have the fuel they need to fight.

Energy independence is a big deal. It is a goal that was seemingly unachievable until President Trump made it a priority. Thank you, Mr. President.

The Positive Impact Of President Trump’s Foreign Policy

The Gatestone Institute posted an article today about the impact of President Trump’s foreign policy on Iran. The article reminds us that because of the Trump administration’s decision not to extend its waiver for Iran’s eight biggest oil buyers; China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea, the economy of Iran is shrinking rapidly. Because of this, Iran is not able to fund terrorist groups at previous levels.

The article reports:

Before the US Department of Treasury leveled secondary sanctions against Iran’s oil and gas sectors, Tehran was exporting over two million barrel a day of oil. Currently, Tehran’s oil export has gone down to less than 200,000 barrel a day, which represents a decline of roughly 90% in Iran’s oil exports.

Iran has the second-largest natural gas reserves and the fourth-largest proven crude oil reserves in the world, and the sale of these resources account for more than 80 percent of its export revenues. The Islamic Republic therefore historically depends heavily on oil revenues to fund its military adventurism in the region and sponsor militias and terror groups. Iran’s presented budget in 2019 was nearly $41 billion, while the regime was expecting to generate approximately $21 billion of it from oil revenues. This means that approximately half of Iran’s government revenue comes from exporting oil to other nations.

Even though Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, boasts about the country’s self-sufficient economy, several of Iran’s leaders recently admitted the dire economic situation that the government is facing. Speaking in the city of Kerman on November 12, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged for the first time that “Iran is experiencing one of its hardest years since the 1979 Islamic revolution” and that “the country’s situation is not normal.”

The result of this is protests and demonstrations against the government.

The article reports:

Iran’s national currency, the rial, also continues to lose value: it dropped to historic lows. One US dollar, which equaled approximately 35,000 rials in November 2017, now buys you nearly 110,000 rials.

In addition, the Islamic Republic appears to be scrambling to compensate for the loss of revenues it is encountering. A few days ago, for example, Iran’s leaders tripled the price of gasoline. It appears a sign of desperation to generate revenues in order to fund their military adventurism in the region and support their proxies and terror groups.

This increase immediately led people to rise up against the government. In the last few days, several Iranian cities have become the scenes of widespread protests and demonstrations. The protests first erupted in Ahvaz and then spread to many other cities in the Khuzestan province as well as in the capital Tehran, and Kermanshah, Isfahan, Tabriz, Karadj, Shiraz, Yazd, Boushehr, Sari, Khorramshahr, Andimeshk, Dezful, Behbahan and Mahshahr.

Tehran’s diminishing resources have also caused Iranian leaders to cut funds to the Palestinian terror group Hamas and the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah. Hamas was forced to introduce “austerity plans” while Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, has also called on his group’s fundraising arm “to provide the opportunity for jihad with money and also to help with this ongoing battle.”

The economic weapon being wielded by President Trump appears to be the safest way to deal with Iran. War would not be a good option, but economic war has at least a possibility of being successful.

Is There Anyone Honest In This Farce?

Breitbart posted an article today about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s testimony. The article cites an obvious lie in the official summary of President Trump’s phone call to Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The article reports:

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman admitted he made up elements of President Donald Trump’s call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an official summary.

Prior to the call, Vindman included a discussion about corruption in the talking points provided to the president but Trump did not use them in the call.

The summary Vindman wrote after the call read:

President Trump underscored the unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – within its internationally recognized borders – and expressed his commitment to work together with President-elect Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people to implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption.

However, when he testified, Lt. Col. Vindman admitted that the part about rooting out corruption was not actually in the call–they were in his talking points provided to the President.

This is consistent with the actions of Lt. Col Vindman–sources have revealed that the reason he was concerned about the call was that his talking points were not followed. It is becoming apparent that the man is behaving like a spoiled child who is unhappy because someone didn’t listen to him.

Do we have to remind the entire State Department that the President is the person who sets foreign policy? I realize that a President only serves for four or eight years, but during those years, he is in charge. If State Department employees cannot grasp that concept, they need to find another employer.

Some Common Sense From The State Department

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article about a recent statement of policy by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The article reports:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared today that the U.S. does not regard Israeli settlements on the West Bank as illegal. He thus reversed the position taken by former Secretary of State John Kerry in the dying days of the Obama administration.

Pompeo explained that, after carefully studying the issue, he concluded that President Reagan got it right when he found that the settlements are not illegal. Reagan had reversed the position taken by the Carter administration.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Benny Gantz both support this move.

The article also notes:

Caroline Glick views Pompeo’s statement as a diplomatic turning point. She writes:

Pompeo’s statement is first and foremost an extraordinary gesture of support for Israel and the rights of the Jewish people on the part of President Donald Trump and his administration. But from a U.S. perspective, it also represents a key advance in Trump’s realist foreign policy.

Since taking office, Trump has worked consistently to align U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond to the world as it is, rather than to the world as “experts” imagine it to be. In the Middle East, this realignment of U.S. policy has provided the nations of the region – including Israel and the Palestinians – with the first chance of reaching genuine peace they have ever had.

I doubt that the Palestinians have any desire for genuine peace, and therefore doubt that Pompeo’s statement will move the parties closer to such a peace. However, I agree with Glick that Pompeo’s realism (and President Trump’s) about West Bank settlements is a prerequisite for real progress in any meaningful peace process.

Another thing that needs to be considered is that the ‘settlements’ are not really settlements–they are thriving communities that include hospitals, schools, and infrastructure. We have learned from experience that when the so-called Palestinians are given territory they do not built infrastructure–they use whatever financial aid they are given to build terrorist tunnels and buy rockets and ammunition. Until that changes, I see no point in negotiating to give any territory to them.

 

The Mainstream Media vs. The Truth

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article highlighting more dishonest reporting from The New York Times.

The article reports:

Seven weeks ago, after the White House released its official summary of a July 25 phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian President, the New York Times noted that the two had previously spoken on April 21 and wrote the following about that conversation:

When Ukraine elected its new leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, on April 21, Mr. Trump seized on the moment as an opportunity to press his case….He urged Mr. Zelensky to coordinate with Mr. Giuliani and to pursue investigations of “corruption,” according to people familiar with the call, the details of which have not previously been reported.

On Friday morning, the White House released its official summary of that earlier call, and it completely debunked the Times reporting that appeared in a front-page September 26 article. The official summary shows a light-hearted conversation about Zelensky’s election victory, Trump’s promise that a “very, very high level” delegation would attend his inauguration, and an invitation for Zelensky to visit the White House.

There’s not the slightest indication that he “seized on the moment as an opportunity to press his case,” nor any reference to Joe Biden, Rudy Giuliani, or anything else suggested in the Times story.

The Times account of the today’s White House release is silent on the Times earlier, apparently false reporting. But it does complain about how “a White House readout of the call in April provides a different account.”

Reporters Mark Mazzetti and Eileen Sullivan point out: “In that summary, provided to reporters shortly after the call took place, the administration said that Mr. Trump promised to work with Zelensky to ‘implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity and root out corruption.’”

Indeed, today’s White House release does contradict the White House report released at the time of the call, but the erroneous September 26 Times’ story does not rely on the “readout” as the basis for its wrong claims, but rather “people familiar with the call.”

In other words, the Times can’t blame the White House for its mistake in September. That’s all on them, and their anonymous source. (Maybe secret sources aren’t the best sources after all.)

There is agreement that there was corruption in Ukraine. There is also agreement that the corruption needed to be cleaned up.

A friend of mine who is a lawyer who follows these events very closely recently wrote:

Then I discovered that the day after VP Joe Biden bribed the Ukraine government into firing the Prosecutor who was investigating his son’s company, the Ukraine court released $23 million the government had seized as part of the investigation. Nobody knows what happened to the $23 million.

What we do know is the $23 million was part of the $50 Million in USAid that 26 Democrats shepherded through the United States Congress in 2014. All 26 received campaign contributions from Ukraine’s new lobbyist: Secretary of State John Kerry’s former chief of staff. How dare the President look into changing the USA’s foreign Policy!

Do you really wonder where the missing money ended up?

Maybe it’s time to take a really good look at where our foreign aid actually goes.

Why Does The Establishment (Republicans and Democrats) Hate Donald Trump?

Yesterday Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at American Greatness titled, “Why Do They Hate Him So?” The article analyzes the reasons that President Trump is opposed by both the political left and the establishment right.

The article states:

Again, why the unadulterated hatred? For the small number of NeverTrumpers, of course, Trump’s crudity in speech and crassness in manner nullify his accomplishments: the unattractive messenger has fouled an otherwise tolerable message.

While they recognize in the abstract that the randy JFK, the repugnant LBJ, and the horny Bill Clinton during their White House tenures were far grosser in conduct than has been Donald Trump, they either assume presidential ethics should have evolved or they were not always around to know of past bad behavior first hand, or believe Trump’s crude language is worse than prior presidents’ crude behavior in office.

The article continues:

Had Donald Trump in his first month as president declared that he was a centrist Republican —as many suspicious Never Trumpers predicted that he would, true to past form—and promoted cap-and-trade and solar and wind federal subsidies, tabled pipeline construction and abated federal leasing for gas and oil production, stayed in the Iran nuclear deal and Paris Climate Accord, appointed judges in the tradition of John Paul Stevens and David Souter, praised the “responsible” Palestinian leaders, pursued “comprehensive immigration reform” as a euphemism for blanket amnesties, then Trump would be treated largely as a George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush: hated, of course, but not obsessively so.

More importantly, had Trump just collapsed or stagnated the economy, as predicted by the likes of Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, he would now be roundly denounced, but again not so vilified, given his political utility for the Left in 2020 as a perceived Herbert Hoover-esque scapegoat.

Had Trump kept within the media and cultural sidelines by giving interviews to “60 Minutes,” speaking at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, bringing in a few old Republican hands to run the staff or handle media relations like a David Gergen or Andrew Card, Trump would have been written off as a nice enough dunce.

But Trump did none of that. So, the hatred of the media, the Left, the swamp, and the celebrity industry is predicated more on the successful Trump agenda. He is systematically undoing what Barack Obama wrought, in the manner Obama sought to undo with his eight years the prior eight years of George W. Bush.

But whereas the Obama economy stagnated and his foreign policy was seen by adversaries and rivals as a rare occasion to recalibrate the world order at American’s expense, Trump mostly did not fail—at least not yet. We are currently in an economic boom while most of the world economy abroad is inert. Had the economy just crashed as predicted, the Trump agenda would have been discredited and he would be written off a pitiful fool rather than an existential monster.

Again, hatred arises at what Trump did even more than what he says or how he says it.

The obvious conclusion:

The bipartisan Washington establishment? If an outsider Manhattan wheeler-dealer without military or political experience can at last call an appeased China to account, can avoid a Libyan fiasco, can acknowledge that America is tired of a 18-year slog in Afghanistan when others would not, or believes ISIS thrived as a result of prior arcane restrictive U.S. rules of engagement—and he is proven largely right—then what does that say about the credentialed experts who dreamed up the bipartisan conventional wisdom that with a few more concessions China would eventually become Palo Alto or that Libya would bloom at the heart of the Arab Spring?

The Left detests Trump for a lot of reasons besides winning the 2016 election and aborting the progressive project. But mostly they hate his guts because he is trying and often succeeding to restore a conservative America at a time when his opponents thought that the mere idea was not just impossible but unhinged.

And that is absolutely unforgivable.

Be prepared for a very nasty year before the election in 2020. There are a lot of very unhinged people in politics and in the media.

Some Random Thoughts On The Troop Withdrawal

According to conservative news sources, the troop withdrawal from the Turkish border is simply moving fifty troops–it is not a withdrawal. I wish it were a withdrawal, we are not currently capable of fighting a war right now–we are unable to unite and focus on the job at hand.

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about the dust-up.

The article notes:

Congress is the institution vested with the power to declare wars, to debate where we send troops, and decide which conflicts are funded. Presidents have been ignoring this arrangement, abuse authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs), and imbue themselves with the power to engage in conflicts wherever they like, without any coherent endgame, and without any buy-in from Congress.

Congress, in turn, has shown no interest in genuinely challenging executive power, because its members are far more concerned with political self-preservation. Ignoring abuse shields them from tough choices and ensuing criticism—even as they use war as a partisan cudgel.

Even if you don’t believe all these conflicts rise to an Article I declaration, and I don’t, the more accountability there is in foreign entanglements the better. Right now we have little genuine debate or consensus building—in a nation that already exhibits exceptionally little interest in foreign policy—regarding the deployment of our troops, almost always in perpetuity, around the world.

It’s a bipartisan problem. Barack Obama, whose political star rose due to his opposition to the Iraq war, was perhaps our worst offender, circumventing Congress and relying on a decade-old AUMF (authorizations for the use of military force), which he invoked 19 times during his presidency, to justify a half-hearted intervention against ISIS (not al-Qaeda) in Syria (not Afghanistan.)

The article notes that military overreach is a problem in both parties:

It’s a bipartisan problem. Barack Obama, whose political star rose due to his opposition to the Iraq war, was perhaps our worst offender, circumventing Congress and relying on a decade-old AUMF, which he invoked 19 times during his presidency, to justify a half-hearted intervention against ISIS (not al-Qaeda) in Syria (not Afghanistan.)

Trump could bomb Iran tomorrow, use Obama’s reasoning, and have a far stronger legal defense for his actions.

It was also Obama who joined Europeans in the failed intervention in Libya, where he worked under NATO goals rather than the United States law. There was hardly a peep from Democrats fretting over the corrosion of the Constitution.

American would function much more efficiently if our Congressmen and President would simply follow the U.S. Constitution. At this point I am not sure many of them have read it–although they did take an oath to uphold it.

When You Poke The Bear

There were two articles posted at The Federalist yesterday (here and here) about the current circus in the House of Representatives. I suspect this is not going exactly the way the Democrats had intended.

The first article notes:

In tense testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) on Friday, the inspector general for federal spy agencies refused to disclose why his office backdated secret changes to key whistleblower forms and rules in the wake of an anti-Trump whistleblower complaint filed in August, sources told The Federalist.

As The Federalist reported and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) confirmed, the spy watchdog secretly changed its whistleblower forms and internal rules in September to eliminate a requirement that whistleblowers provide first-hand evidence to support any allegations of wrongdoing. In a press release last week, the ICIG confessed that it changed its rules in response to an anti-Trump complaint filed on August 12. That complaint, which was declassified and released by President Donald Trump in September, was based entirely on second-hand information, much of which was shown to be false following the declassification and release of a telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The first article concludes:

Several top lawmakers in the Senate raised similar concerns about Atkinson’s behavior in a separate letter.

“Why did the IC IG initially require first-hand information in its May 2018 disclosure form?” the senators asked. “Why did the IC IG remove the requirement for first-hand information?”

Atkinson has not answered their questions, either, raising questions that his behavior following his receipt of the anti-Trump complaint might not be completely above board. Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence and the Department of Justice that the anti-Trump complaint was statutorily deficient and forwarded it to HPSCI even though it did not meet the legal definition of an “urgent concern” that is required to be given to Congress.

The embattled ICIG also admitted on Friday that the anti-Trump complainant lied on his whistleblower complaint form by concealing the complainant’s previous secret interactions with House Democratic staff prior to submitting the complaint. Atkinson never even bothered investigating potential coordination between the complainant, whom DOJ said showed evidence of partisan political bias, and House Democrats prior to the filing of the anti-Trump complaint.

The second article is more of a history of the entire Ukraine scandal. It mentions the fact that there are genuine concerns about Ukraine interference in the 2016 American presidential election.

The second article also suggests some motivation behind this current circus:

The Democrats’ case for impeachment is hopeless, but their motivation is simple. They whipped up their base into such a delusional frenzy during the “Russia investigation,” they have to keep the narrative going at all costs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a rebellion from her caucus if she doesn’t go along with it.

There may be a more serious motivation behind this:

But there’s a group of intelligence bureaucrats at work here, and their motivation is a bit different. An immediate motive may be to prevent an investigation into how the Russia probe started. This includes an investigation into how a document the Hillary Clinton campaign created — using anonymous Russians and a British national tied to Russia — was used by our intelligence agencies to investigate Trump.

The other possible motivation is more complex. During the “Russia investigation,” many in the intelligence agencies worked to subvert Trump’s foreign policy and remove Trump, through spying, a large series of leaks, and articles planted with friendly outlets. Trump’s campaign was even spied on before the election, via something called the “two-hop rule,” once a secret court granted a warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials such as Carter Page.

Because of this, the White House moved to cut off the broader “intelligence community” — inexorably tied to America’s foreign policy establishment that Trump ran against — from information the White House knew many in the intelligence agencies would use to selectively leak.

That could mean some of what’s going on today, at least from the CIA angle, is intelligence bureaucrats “striking back” because they lost their access to diplomatic communications, a coveted source of the intelligence community’s power. But even the Obama administration liked to hide diplomatic calls from the broader intelligence community, which should tell us something about that bureaucracy.

The second article includes the following statement:

In other words, the real big takeaway here is that we have a problem with our Washington bureaucracy, including our intelligence agencies, which have routinely crossed the line into policymaking. How much of the impeachment mess is due to CIA bureaucrats being incensed that Trump, who is elected, would dare to question military aid to Ukraine, and would dare to curtail their eavesdropping on diplomacy?

What we see here is an illustration of the reason why we need to drain the swamp.

If You Wondered Why Energy Independence Is Important

The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday about the drone attack on Saudi oil fields. The Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen have claimed credit for the attack.

The article reports:

The production shutdown amounts to a loss of about 5.7 million barrels a day, the kingdom’s national oil company said, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil.

Officials said they hoped to restore production to its regular level of 9.8 million barrels a day by Monday. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said lost production would be offset through supplies of oil already on hand.

The strikes mark the latest in a series of attacks on the country’s petroleum assets in recent months, as tensions rise among Iran and its proxies like the Houthis, and the U.S. and partners like Saudi Arabia. The attacks could drive up oil prices if the Saudis can’t turn production back on quickly and potentially rattle investor confidence in an initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company.

The article concludes:

The Yemen war is a central front in a new and more aggressive foreign policy overseen by Prince Mohammed, who launched the intervention with a coalition of allied states in 2015. Under the prince’s watch, the kingdom also applied a blockade on neighboring Qatar, detained Lebanon’s prime minister, and sent a team of men to kill exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018.

A conservative kingdom with a Sunni Muslim majority, Saudi Arabia has been an opponent of Iran in a struggle for power across the broader Middle East since the 1979 revolution that toppled Iran’s monarchy.

The attacks on Aramco’s facilities are poorly timed for Aramco’s coming IPO and pose a challenge to oil officials after a changing of the guard in their leadership. Aramco last week picked seven international banks to help it list on Saudi Arabia’s domestic exchange, an IPO that could value the company at about $2 trillion dollars and come before the end of the year.

There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes here. This is part of the conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. At their core, both the Saudis and the Iranians want to bring back the former caliphate. The Ottoman Empire (which was that caliphate) existed until the early 1900’s. Many Muslims want that Empire restored. The argument is over who will rule the caliphate when it is established. Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are players in this conflict, as is ISIS. Jamal Khashoggi was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Descriptions of him as simply a journalist were misleading. Another part of this puzzle is the fact that Saudi Arabia is drawing closer to aligning with Israel because of the fear of a nuclear Iran. That also would be a cause for increased aggression from Iran.

Generally speaking, any terrorism that goes on in the Middle East can be traced back to Iran. They have been training and funding terrorists since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

I have no idea what impact this will have on world oil prices. I do know that Saudi Arabia will work to repair the damage as soon as possible. I have no doubt that Iran is violating the sanctions on its oil exports, so if the price of oil rises significantly, Iran may be able to pull itself out of its current economic difficulties and calm its population. America will continue to prosper as oil prices rise because we are now a net exporter of oil rather than a net importer. Because of the policies of President Trump, we are in a very different situation than we were during the oil crisis of the 1970’s.

The Coming Election Impacts Foreign Policy

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about China’s plans to influence the 2020 presidential election.

The article reports:

In his conversation with Levin, Gertz (Washington Free Beacon senior writer Bill Gertz) reflected on his interview with Guo, who told Gertz earlier this week that the Chinese government has been deploying a prolonged campaign to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. Gertz asserted the Chinese government may try to wait out Trump’s time in office so it can negotiate trade deals with a new Democratic president if Trump loses in 2020.

Trump announced Thursday he would impose an additional 10-percent tariff on certain Chinese exports as a trade agreement between the United States and China has yet to materialize.

“The China threat to me is the most serious threat facing the country,” Gertz told Levin.

He pointed to the economic integration between the U.S and China and how those relationships make it difficult for lawmakers and military officials to address Chinese aggression head-on, which he referred to as “an existential threat.”

The article concludes:

“There’s a major push right now to try and build up of American courses in Asia so we won’t have to go to war with China,” Gertz said of the government’s efforts to deter a war hypothetical war with China.

Looking towards the presidential race, Gertz warned the Chinese government would prefer to have a Democrat in the White House.

“It’s going to be a huge problem if the Democrats retake the administration,” Gertz said, pointing to former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent downplaying of threat China poses to the United States.

Gertz pointed out that during the Obama presidency the Chinese government expanded their presence in Asian waterways, in addition to ramping up their theft of intellectual property from American companies and entrepreneurs.

This may be the reason the negotiations with China have become so difficult–China is waiting for a President who will cave into their demands. It is obvious that President Trump is not that person.

By undermining President Trump since he was elected, the Democrat party has made international trade negotiations much more difficult. Creating an even playing field in trade with China would result in continued growth of the United States economy. It is time to repair the damage bad trade deals have done in the past.

Foreign Policy Wisdom

The Center For Security Policy posted the following Secure Freedom Minute on July 26:

In recent days, fast-boats of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have seized oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.  This action has followed a series of other direct and indirect Iranian provocations, including attacks on shipping, Saudi oil infrastructure and U.S. assets in Iraq.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a pair of Chinese long-range bombers joined two of their Russian counterparts and one of the Kremlin’s command-and-control aircraft in conducting a deliberate provocation in the airspace over islands claimed by South Korea and Japan. An extraordinary three hundred warning shots were fired in two separate instances before the intruders departed the area.

Make no mistake: These are probing actions designed to test the readiness and resolve of the United States and its allies. As with any bully, a failure to demonstrate both will result in more aggression worldwide.

This is a lesson we should have learned a long time ago.

Sometimes Getting Things Done Takes Time

The Daily Caller is reporting the following today: “Late-Night Deal Breaks Deadlock Over Natural Gas Exports. The Trump Administration Is Ecstatic.” Natural gas is one of the cleanest energy sources in the world. America has a lot of it. Exporting it will have financial and diplomatic rewards.

The article reports:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) broke a two-year partisan deadlock Thursday night to approve a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Louisiana.

Top Department of Energy (DOE) officials said this was a major breakthrough that will alleviate a growing problem for U.S. energy producers — a lack of export infrastructure.

“We have been promoting US energy around the world and today’s decision by the FERC is a very important one,” DOE Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.

The Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal is the first such project to get FERC approval in two years. Republican FERC commissioners Neil Chatterjee, the chairman, and Bernard McNamee worked with Democrat Cheryl LaFleur to hash out an agreement to get her support.

The article concludes:

FERC’s other Democratic commissioner Richard Glick opposed the terminal, arguing his colleagues were “deliberately ignoring the consequences that its actions have for climate change.”

The commission’s environmental review of Calcasieu Pass found the facility would emit roughly 3.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year — about 0.07 percent of total U.S. emissions.

Brouillette argued that while an individual LNG export terminal would emit greenhouse gases, it would help lower global emissions because countries want gas as an alternative to coal.

“To the extent that LNG is displacing coal around the world, we think the impact is going to be positive,” Brouillette said.

Brouillette also stressed the geopolitical implications of LNG exports and the role energy could play in President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.

“These are decisions that impact the President’s ability to make foreign policy decisions,” Brouillette told TheDCNF. “We get to assist Poland, we get to assist Lithuania, we get to assist the Baltic states.”

Energy independence for America is important, but it is also important to be able to export energy around the world when countries such as Russia threaten to shut down their energy pipelines in order the win political victories.

Misleading The Public About International Affairs

NBC News posted an article today about the relationship between President Trump and the nation of Turkey.

The article reports:

As Trump administration officials presided over the second day of an international conference in Warsaw dominated by calls to ratchet up pressure on Iran, one longtime U.S. ally and NATO member was noticeably absent — Turkey.

Snubbing the gathering in Poland, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday attended a rival conference in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where he planned to meet his Russian and Iranian counterparts to work out a final settlement of the war in Syria.

The dueling summits illustrate President Donald Trump’s struggle to forge a united front against Iran, and reflect Turkey’s drift away from Washington as it finds common ground with Moscow and Tehran, experts and former officials said.

These three paragraphs are totally misleading and paint a negative picture of President Trump’ foreign policy that is totally inaccurate. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became President of Turkey in 2014. He had previously served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014. As he moves Turkey in the direction of an Islamic State, it is only natural that his friendly relationship with America would deteriorate rapidly.

On July 28, 2014, The Jerusalem Post reported:

Harold Rhode, a senior fellow at the New-York-based Gatestone Institute and a former adviser on Islamic affairs in the office of the American secretary of defense, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Sunday that the real issue in the ongoing conflict is that Turkey and Qatar are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in their goals.

“[Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has been associated with the Muslim Brotherhood long before he was prime minister,” Rhode said.

It should now be clear to all that Erdogan “is now out of the bag,” Rhode said, adding that US President Barack Obama does not speak to the Turkish leader anymore despite previously describing him as one of his closest friends among the world’s leaders.

“Erdogan is doing whatever he can to help Hamas,” he said, asserting that it will only hurt the Palestinian people in the end.

On January 7, 2019, Clare Lopez posted an article at the Center for Security Policy that stated:

As National Security Advisor John Bolton heads to Turkey today for discussions about President Trump’s announced decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syrian battle spaces, he might question Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his expressed intent to re-establish the Ottoman Empire and how Erdogan calculates U.S. policy in the region to figure into that ambition.

He might cite from Erdogan’s February 2018 assertion that “modern Turkey is a ‘continuation’ of the Ottoman Empire,” or ask exactly what Erdogan meant when, in November 2018 he declared that “Turkey is bigger than Turkey; just know this. We cannot be trapped inside 780,000 kilometers [Turkey’s total area].” He might perhaps ask also what exactly Erdogan meant by threatening the U.S. with an “Ottoman Slap,” in reference to American support for Kurdish forces fighting against the Islamic State.

Then there was the November 2018 “International Islamic Union Congress,” held in Istanbul. Headed by Erdogan’s chief military advisor, Adnan Tanriverdi, the event’s participants endorsed the aim of “unity of Islam” through establishing the “Confederation of Islamic Countries.” It was not entirely clear how or if such a “Confederation” would differ from a Caliphate or Islamic State.

Clearly, U.S. objectives for the region are not the same as Turkey’s.

I don’t think President Trump is the problem in our relationship with Turkey.