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Trump & International politics

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  • 3 weeks later...

America needs to face ongoing Russian assault on democracy

".......the administration cannot deny that Russia continues to try to subvert our democracy. Department of Homeland Security officials said last month that Russian hackers had penetrated U.S. critical infrastructure networks. Facebook announced it had discovered new Russian disinformation campaigns designed to sow divisions and discord in American society. And the FBI’s arrest of Russian agent Maria Butina shed new light on the possibility that Russia could be laundering money to benefit certain U.S. political organizations.

So what are we to make of the administration’s references to Chinese, Iranian and North Korean meddling?

The short answer is that America’s adversaries are starting to emulate Russia’s subversive methods precisely because of the Kremlin’s success in mounting a large-scale influence operation against the United States with so few negative consequences.

The unfortunate lesson many authoritarian regimes learned in 2016 is that subversive methods are cheap (especially compared to military operations), hard to attribute (especially in real time), and remarkably effective  (especially if they can build on existing social cleavages in diverse, democratic societies). ....

, the United States needs to expose foreign interference. Civil society initiatives like the recently announced Transatlantic Commission for Election Integrity or the Alliance for Securing Democracies can help by keeping the public informed in real time. The State Department’s Global Engagement Center can also help do this overseas.

Second, the United States urgently needs to address its own vulnerabilities. This includes strengthening cybersecurity...

Finally, costs need to be imposed on foreign states when they are caught trying to subvert our elections, as Russia did in 2016. .......


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Trump lawyer Giuliani got paid to lobby Romanian president

The former New York mayor’s letter goes against the State Department stance on corruption in Bucharest.



".........Giuliani’s letter to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis appears to take sides in a fight at the top of the Romanian government over how to rein in high-level corruption.


The former New York mayor’s letter criticizes the “excesses” of Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), contrary to U.S. State Department policy, which has been supportive of the agency’s efforts. Although the missive does not claim to have been sent on President Trump’s authority, Romanian politicians seeking to blunt the power of the DNA have already used it to sow doubt about the U.S. government’s position........

G iuliani — who regularly appears in the media as a public representative of Trump — told POLITICO Tuesday that his letter “was based on a report I reviewed” by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who runs a global consulting firm called Freeh Group International Solutions.

“They are paying my fee,” Giuliani said of the Freeh Group. .............

“It is highly unusual, to say the least, for an American lawyer to write the president of a foreign nation to offer advice on that nation’s anti-corruption efforts, [but] to do so without identifying the client or clients on whose behalf he is writing is astonishing,” Jeffress said.

“The only conclusion I can reach is that whoever put him up to this (and paid him) believes he will have influence because, and only because, he is the president’s lawyer.”.....





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POLITICOVerified account @politico 24m24 minutes ago


Mike Pompeo must soon make a key decision that could sharply limit U.S. backing for Saudi Arabia’s controversial war in Yemen,

where more than three years of fighting have triggered a humanitarian crisis, claims of war crimes, and anger in Congress


Al Jazeera EnglishVerified account @AJEnglish 16m16 minutes ago


Spain put the brakes on a sale of hundreds of missiles to Saudi Arabia amid concerns about their use against civilians in the war against Yemen http://aje.io/c6l22 



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Beijing’s bid for global power in the age of Trump

“America First” versus China’s strategy of the four continents


........ China is an ascending superpower, riding a wave of rapid economic expansion with a burgeoning industrial and technological infrastructure, a growing share of world trade, and surging self-confidence. The United States is a declining hegemon, with a crumbling infrastructure, a failing educational system, a shrinking slice of the global economy, and a deeply polarized, divided citizenry ..........

... the world was already witnessing a sharp rivalry between Xi’s advocacy of a new form of global collaboration and Trump’s version of economic nationalism. In the process, humanity seems to be entering a rare historical moment when national leadership and global circumstances have coincided to create an opening for a major shift in the nature of the world order. ........


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37 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

No country stays on top forever as history shows. That doesn't mean though that it

sinks to the bottom.

True.  Look at England.  Amazing amount of influence for such a small and economically non-influential nation.

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

True.  Look at England.  Amazing amount of influence for such a small and economically non-influential nation.

The extent of the British Empire during the 20th century is probably the most impressive, at least

in the West, since that of Rome. Of course the more you have the more you have to lose. They

haven't done badly after the sun set and of course they are always happy to hitch a ride on our

train, which doesn't hurt. 

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NewsweekVerified account @Newsweek 2h2 hours ago


Vladimir Putin makes pancakes with China's Xi as they criticize Trump's protectionist trade policy http://bit.ly/2N4TfhZ 

“Amid the quickly changing international situation and the factors of instability and unpredictability, the cooperation of Russia and China takes on greater and greater importance,” Xi told reporters during the event, which experts noted took place as Washington’s relationship with both countries deteriorated.

“Together with our Russian colleagues, we will increase fruitful co-operation in international affairs and intensify co-ordination...to oppose the policy of unilateral actions and trade protectionism.”

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The U.S. Goes to War Against the ICC to Cover Up Alleged War Crimes in Afghanistan


...... Recent statements from the Trump administration suggest that the United States is now preparing to go to war against the ICC itself, motivated largely by an effort to silence investigations into alleged American war crimes committed in Afghanistan, as well as alleged crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip.

In a speech at a D.C. event held by the Federalist Society on Monday, Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton denounced the ICC as “illegitimate” and expressed his intentions toward the institution in no uncertain terms. “We will not cooperate with the ICC,” Bolton said. “We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.” ......

at the center of the campaign against the ICC is a 2016 report by ICC prosecutors that deals in part with the war in Afghanistan.

That report alleges the commission of widespread crimes by the Taliban and Afghan government forces. But the report also makes allegations of serious crimes committed by U.S. military forces and the CIA, including “torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape.” ......


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Trump Administration Discussed Coup Plans With Rebel Venezuelan Officers


The Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who participated in the talks.

Establishing a clandestine channel with coup plotters in Venezuela was a big gamble for Washington, given its long history of covert intervention across Latin America. Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War.

The White House, which declined to answer detailed questions about the talks, said in a statement that it was important to engage in “dialogue with all Venezuelans who demonstrate a desire for democracy” in order to “bring positive change to a country that has suffered so much under Maduro.”

But one of the Venezuelan military commanders involved in the secret talks was hardly an ideal figure to help restore democracy: He is on the American government’s own sanctions list of corrupt officials in Venezuela.

He and other members of the Venezuelan security apparatus have been accused by Washington of a wide range of serious crimes, including torturing critics, jailing hundreds of political prisoners, wounding thousands of civilians, trafficking drugs and collaborating with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

American officials eventually decided not to help the plotters, and the coup plans stalled. But the Trump administration’s willingness to meet several times with mutinous officers intent on toppling a president in the hemisphere could backfire politically.

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  • 2 weeks later...

State Department Team Led by Former Raytheon Lobbyist Pushed Mike Pompeo to Support Yemen War Because of Arms Sales


"....the bombings of densely populated areas, but also a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the fighting, with up to 8.4 million people at risk of starvation.

Those concerns, however, were overruled after Pompeo discussed the matter with the State Department’s legislative affairs team. The legislative affairs staff, according to the Wall Street Journal,

argued that restricting U.S. support would endanger billions of dollars in future weapons sales, including a massive sale of precision-guided munitions between Raytheon, a U.S. weapons manufacturer, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

That staff — the legislative affairs team at the State Department — is led by a former Raytheon lobbyist....


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Former UN Chief Ban Ki-moon: US For-Profit Health System 'Politically and Morally Wrong'

It is "unethical" to deprive people of healthcare, which is a "human right," he says, calling for a universal, publicly-funded system


Ban declared that it is "unethical" and "politically wrong, morally wrong" to deprive people of healthcare, which he sees as a "human right."

Noting that the United States is "the most resourceful and richest country in the world," he said, "Nobody would understand why almost 30 million people are not covered by insurance."




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Subtle jabs to laughs: Here’s how world leaders reacted to Trump at the U.N.

..... “It is unfortunate that we are witnessing rulers in the world ride public sentiments and gain popular support through the fomenting of extremist nationalism and racism and through xenophobic tendencies resembling a Nazi disposition,” Rouhani said. ....

“France continues with all interested parties to spearhead this global fight against climate change,” Macron said. “In the G7, we will be working to see the Paris obligations increased. Should someone be against that, we shall nonetheless press ahead through new fora.” ....


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Al Jazeera EnglishVerified account @AJEnglish 1h1 hour ago

Palestinians reject Trump's support for two-state solution http://aje.io/jmyyc  #UNGAUNGA_2018.png

Husam Zomlot, head of the recently closed Palestinian mission in Washington, DC, denounced the US president's comments.

"Their words go against their actions and their action is absolutely clear [and] is destroying the possibility of the two-state solution," Zumlot said.................

"In response to what Trump said about the two-state solution, the two-state solution means to us that we have a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital," Abu Rudeineh said. "This is the only way to achieve peace."

He added Palestinians want to resolve all core issues of the conflict -......

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Trump accuses China of 2018 election meddling; Beijing rejects charge

  • U.S. President Donald Trump did not provide any evidence for his allegation accusing China of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 U.S. congressional elections.
  • China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, immediately rejected the allegation, "We did not and will not interfere in any country's domestic affairs. We refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations against China".
  • Trump's focus on China came as a surprise during a formal meeting around the Security Council's horseshoe table that was expected to concentrate on the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.


US President Donald Trump speaks during the United Nations Security Council briefing on counterproliferation on the second day of the UN General Assembly, September 26, 2018 at the United Nations in New York. 
Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images
US President Donald Trump speaks during the United Nations Security Council briefing on counterproliferation on the second day of the UN General Assembly, September 26, 2018 at the United Nations in New York. 

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused China of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 U.S. congressional elections, saying Beijing did not want his Republican Party to do well because of his pugnacious stance on trade.

"China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election, coming up in November. Against my administration,"




-worried about midterms.....already looking for a scapegoat??

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Bolivian president tears into Trump at UN Security Council meeting

" I would like to say to you, frankly and openly here, that in no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy ’’ Morales said through a translator during a meeting hosted by Trump, ...

“If this were the case, it would have signed the international conventions and treaties that have protected human rights," he said.

"It would not have threatened the investigation mechanism of the International Criminal Court, nor would it promote the use of torture, nor would it have walked away from the Human Rights Council. And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.’’ ....


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WorldViews • Analysis
Yes, world leaders laughed at Trump. But there was another, less obvious sign of diminishing U.S. influence.
The European Union, Russia and China have announced plans to circumvent U.S. sanctions reimposed on Iran by President Trump in May.

By Rick Noack  •  Read more »


Trump is the laughingstock of the world
His speech to the U.N. was like something from an insult comic.
By Dana Milbank  •  Read more »
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From the Globe and Mail

Canada, U.S. reach tentative NAFTA deal; Trump approves pact

President Donald Trump signed off on the agreement late Sunday night, said four sources with knowledge of the closed-door negotiations. Canada preserved the Chapter 19 dispute settlement provision, said one Canadian government source, satisfying Mr. Trudeau’s long-standing red line in the negotiations. The deal will also keep in place protections for Canadian cultural industries. Mr. Trump, for his part, gained the right for American farmers to sell more products into Canada’s tightly-controlled supply managed dairy system, his major trade complaint with Canada over the last year and a half. Three sources said a side agreement, meanwhile, would see American tariffs lifted on Canadian steel and aluminium, and a guarantee the Trump administration will not impose tariffs on most auto imports from Canada.

As details of the 11th-hour deal between Canada and the U.S. began to leak, there was a sense that Canada has done Mexico a major favour. As Stephanie Nolen reports from Mexico City, of the three nations, Mexico may have gained least – or lost most – in the new deal. But the overall feeling among Mexicans is perhaps best characterized as relief. Mr. Trump is seen as so unpredictable – and so irrationally convinced that Mexico was disproportionately benefiting from NAFTA at U.S. expense – that achieving any sort of a reasonable trade deal with him is seen as a victory.

Campbell Clark writes Canada made concessions on NAFTA but the new deal avoids major damage to economy: " No deal is better than a bad deal, Justin Trudeau often said. But when a mediocre deal comes along, you try to grab it and run."

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