One thing no one can doubt. There never would have been a Peace Corps under Donald Trump. I thought this as I listened to a fervent Trump supporter decrying spending any American money to help any foreigner. She asked: “what about the American homeless and others.”
Apparently the money we spend in foreign nations like foreign aid to help foreigners is wrong. But in truth it is not that she wanted that money to be spent on the homeless. She wants on the other hand to cut back on government spending which would include money for the American homeless.
I can’t but be amused by those who want less spending on others and less government spending in general. I find many are happily benefitting from the benefits of Medicare. I’ve yet to hear any of those asking for that program to be cut back. The idea of helping others, foreigners or Americans, seems to be disappearing.
Another objection my friend had was that our car makers had to pay tariff’s to sell their cars in other countries while those countries, she specifically mentioned South Korea and Japan, don’t have to pay tariffs on their cars sold here. She said that was a great disadvantage to American car makers. I pointed out there was another side to this. If you imposed a tariff you may be helping the car makers and their stockholders but you had to disadvantage the Americans who would buy those cars since the price would be increased by the tariff. Things aren’t always as simple as they first appear.
Speaking of South Korea I’m reminded me of Tillerson’s recent speech beseeching North Korea to come to the bargaining table. It must have provoked lots of laughter in Pyongyang among Kim Jong-un and his buddies as their belief in the emptiness of Trump’s threats was born out. He said: “ We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek the collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, We do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel. And we’re trying to convey that to the North Koreans. We are not your enemy. We’re not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond. And we hope that at some point, they would begin to understand that and then we would like to sit and have a dialogue with them about the future that will give them the security they seek and the future economic prosperity for North Korea.” (my emphasis)
This statement given this week after North Korea sent aloft its second ICBM runs afoul of his Fourth of July statement: “We intend to bring North Korea’s provocative action before the UN Security Council and enact stronger measures to hold the DPRK accountable. The United States seeks only the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the end of threatening actions by North Korea. As we, along with others, have made clear, we will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.” (my emphasis)
Tillerson in less than a month has gone from boldness to begging and offering bribes. This is because he knows that North Korea is already nuclear-armed with ICBMs. He knows his threats and Trump’s have been ignored by the North Koreans. He doesn’t seem to know that you don’t negotiate by weakness. So much for the “Art of the Deal.”
After they calm down from their big laugh they’ll continue to build ICBMs and nukes. Offering them bribes (future economic opportunities) won’t cut the mustard. The North Koreans see our weakness and will take advantage of it. We’re going to have to accept that the Trump approach will ensure we will live under the threat of a heavily armed North Korea clinging to the hope our deterrent nuclear force will stop North Korea from strking first.
Meanwhile one wonders that having gotten Putin’s permission to sign the new sanctions bill on Russia what is Putin demanding in return. We know Putin is throwing out some 700 American embassy people (without a response from Trump). To pacify him I’m sure Putin had more demands. Russia is moving over 100,000 of its troops into Belorussia. Is this the prelude to a Trump approved attack on Western Ukraine? Doubt Putin will move on Baltic States because of NATO commitment but Ukraine being outside of NATO remains as one of his first targets.
Putin needs a face saver after Trump let him down. What will it be?