Can Trump Solve the Chinese Puzzle?

 

Xi puzzle“Facts don’t care about your feelings,” as Ben Shapiro is wont to say. Indeed, John Adams admonishes us: “facts are very stubborn things.” In the midst of all the virtual ink spillage, and pundit and politico posturing, the inconvenient truth is that Hong Kong is a city in communist China. This unfeeling and stubborn fact fundamentally limits what the United States, any other nation, and people inside Hong Kong can do to affect conditions on the ground. Yet, there may be a move, within the larger Chinese puzzle, that President Trump can play now that might slow Hong Kong’s descent into normal Chinese city status.

Cautionary Tales of Careless Words:

More

Member Post

 

I find myself quite skeptical and conflicted about the Hong Kong protests. The general tone of the posts and comments on the subject, here at Ricochet, seems to overwhelmingly favor the protesters, and seems overly simplified to me. I think that the situation is quite complex. I certainly agree that the Chinese government is a […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that U.S. sanctions are inflicting a devastating economic toll and putting a lot of political pressure on North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un. They also cringe at reports that President Trump promised China two months ago that he would not condemn a […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Hong Kong Sings the American Song of Freedom, While China Prepares an Attack

 

China seems poised to engage in a crackdown on Hong Kong, with troops massing on the Hong Kong border and police (controlled and supported by Beijing) violently removing protesters from the Hong Kong airport that they have occupied over the last two days. I have spent a lot of time on radio over the years talking about China; how its government runs and military acts, and the issues of its citizens. And I have repeatedly discussed how we, as Americans, should never think of China on any sort of equivalent footing: Never think of a Communist nation as in any way equal to a free nation.

Radical environmentalists – which include major swaths of the progressive party in the US – often laud China for their Green innovations and clean mass transit. But China is responsible for some of the worst pollution on Earth.

More

Member Post

 

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome reports that members of the Illinois congressional delegation have at temporarily convinced President Trump not to commute the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. They’re also frustrated that President Trump is not speaking out more forcefully in favor of the pro-democracy […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Playing Chinese Checkers

 

Two conservative voices on Hong Kong yesterday, starting with Friend of Ricochet, Annika Rothstein:

More

Russian Ammunition Storage Site Mushroom Cloud

 

A town in Russia is reportedly being evacuated, following a massive series of explosions at a nearby ammunition storage site. The Twitter account @Liveuamap is covering it best. There was a big enough conventional explosion to generate a large mushroom cloud and blast wave in the Achinsk district of Krasnoyarsk Krai. Other video shows a series of explosions and widespread flames.

More

Member Post

 

North Korea is too horrible a place to let remain on this planet: https://www.foxnews.com/world/the-horrific-underbelly-of-north-koreas-human-rights-abuses-forced-abortions More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

By popular demand from listeners, this special edition of the Power Line Show features both Kelly Jane Torrance of the Washington Examiner and “Lucretia,” Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery. Kelly Jane is just back from serving as an official election watcher over in Ukraine, and lays out a delightful political scene that does Donald […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Build “the Wall”

 
A section of the Wall near El Paso, TX, January 19, 2019. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Real walls matter, so long as they are observed and backed by effective enforcement of boundary rules. This is true for the most modest private property and for the most powerful nation. We have seen several encouraging developments in American national sovereignty and regional security in the past week or so. These developments ranged from at least a temporary green light for border wall construction, to an important power in the hemisphere declaring Hezbollah a terrorist group.

Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the government, President Trump’s administration, relief from the lawfare of another black robed leftist in the 9th Circuit. The very short 5-4 decision was largely on a technicality, choosing to rule that the plaintiffs likely lacked standing. Doing so keeps arguments on the merits alive for the 9th Circuit appellate panel, thus letting the Supreme Court consider both fact and law in light of a more fully developed court record.

More

US & Guatemala Sign “Safe Third Country” Agreement to Curb False Claims of Asylum

 

President Trump oversaw a signing ceremony Friday in the Oval Office between Guatemala and the United States for a “safe third country” agreement on asylum seekers. The New York Post reports:

The “safe third country” agreement would require migrants, including Salvadorans and Hondurans, who cross into Guatemala on their way to the US to apply for protections in that country instead of at the southern border [of the United States]. … The two countries had been negotiating an agreement for months, and Trump threatened Wednesday to place tariffs on Guatemala if it didn’t cut a deal.

More

How to Assassinate a CIA Operative and Get Away With It

 
The Sheraton place of the Piano Bar and former American Embassy location

It was a hot day in a dusty city, Tbilisi the Capital of Georgia, there was little power and anarchy ruled in the streets. An oasis of calm, like a castle of old, stood on a hill just inside the eastern edge of the city the Sheraton “Metechi Palace” Hotel. With generators and money to burn the Hotel always had power and the owners of the Hotel were connected. The most powerful criminal organization in the country the “Knights” or Mkhedrioni provided security to the grounds. The American Embassy rented out entire floors and had their own security, among them were Delta Force Operators, and Freddie Woodruff long-time Soviet Expert and CIA Station Chief in charge of the Delta Force mission and charged with monitoring the KGB led drug trade through Georgia.

The drug trade was the way the Soviet Intelligence services kept themselves funded after the fall of the Soviet Union and was the bedrock of their eventually take over of the Russian Federation. The KGB used their old contacts in Afghanistan to literally move tons of cocaine and opium paste through Russia and then the Georgian ports to all of Europe and beyond. It was a multi-billion dollar industry and the CIA was very interested in it.

More

Member Post

 

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America recap the Mueller hearings, including Democrat Hakeem Jeffries’ embarrassing exchange with the former special counsel. They react to the resignation of Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello. And they discuss Kamala Harris declining in the polls after her post-debate bounce last month. More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Winning by Killing Ten Million Afghans?

 

President Trump with Pakistan PMPresident Trump declines. In a sit-down informal press conference, with the Prime Minister of Pakistan mostly off camera, President Trump answered a series of questions, mostly by foreign journalists, on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Consider his comments as part of a larger information campaign, or public diplomacy, with both leaders and citizens of countries in the region, especially Iran.

More

Member Post

 

After sharing some initial thoughts on the Mueller hearings, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Ruth Bader Ginsburg for criticizing Democratic calls to pack the Supreme Court with more justices. They share a chuckle over the growing angst among Democrats over progressive donor Tom Steyer’s presidential bid. And they […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up three more delicious martinis. First, they cautiously applaud the selection of Boris Johnson as the new British prime minister in hopes the UK can finally deal with Brexit in a good way and they eagerly await the Trump-Johnson press conferences. They also […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough to do: therefore, I post on the Internet. (I could guess about you; I could also guess about the guy who web-stalks Claire Berlinski and always undersigns his posts even though his name always appears at the top of them; but I will do neither.) […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss polling revealing 51 percent of Americans support ICE deportation raids compared to just 35 percent who are opposed. They once again dive into the controversy involving Donald Trump, Ilhan Omar and theTrump rally chants of “send her back.” And they shake their heads […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

A Nixon-to-China Moment for Our Time, Squandered

 

It is a bipartisan article of faith within the American foreign affairs establishment that Vladimir Putin is our implacable foe, and that the Russia-China axis is a natural alliance of two powerful, like-minded despotisms set on global domination. This axiom, a toxic byproduct of our recent domestic political meltdown, is as unquestionable as it is wrongheaded and short-sighted.

In the American imagination, still laboring under a post-Cold War hangover, Russia looms large as a font of hostility, anti-Americanism and illiberal ideology. And indeed, there is little question that the Putin regime is authoritarian and hostile or indifferent to Western values like human rights, individual liberty, and law-bound, accountable government. There is also little question that Russia’s intelligence services have been spectacularly successful in exploiting our political divisions and sowing havoc and discord in our domestic politics. And, Putin continues to poke Uncle Sam in the eye, witness for example, Russia’s most recent meddling in Venezuela.

More

A Tale of Three Nukes

 

Maps of Ukraine, Libya, North KoreaI recently urged “Don’t Say You Want a Revolution,” reviewing the sad and terrible consequences of American presidents talking up “regime change” or “revolution” in other countries. As the people of 1956 Hungary and 1991 Iraq discovered, the United States does not back up such talk with our own blood and treasure, even when local people put their own fortunes, sacred honor, and lives on the line. Now let us shift perspective, from the people to the governing elite.

What lessons should Kim Jong-Un draw from recent history? Does U.S. policy, as it has actually played out, cut against North Korean denuclearization? What of the Khomeinist regime in Iran? Consider Libya and Ukraine as cautionary tales for other governments considering what to do with their own weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.

More