Tag: Foreign Policy

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For nearly half a decade we have been told that the walls are closing in on the President of the United States. If it wasn’t Stormy Daniels it would be Russian Collusion; if not Russian Collusion then it would be the 25th Amendment; if not the 25th Amendment then the Emoluments Clause; if not the […]

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Donald Trump, whether people want to admit it or not, scored a pretty big foreign policy win as Israel normalized relations with UAE and Bahrain. Seth, Park, Jay, and Grant discuss the political implications for Trump and why people are so afraid (on either side) to credit anyone, not in their party for policy success.

Also, the guys discuss the coronavirus vaccine and the effects of both Trump over-promising and some Democrats flirting with anti-vax rhetoric because they don’t like Trump and argue the wrong point (that it won’t be ready by election day instead of assuming it will and saying they don’t trust the president).

The New Evil Empire


When Ronald Reagan dubbed the Soviet Union an “evil empire” he was blasted for being inflammatory and was accused of wanting to start a nuclear war with the Soviets. Ronald Reagan negotiated with the Soviets from a position of strength and knew the only language dictators understand is strength, Reagan was going to defend American interests. I, for one, find it dishonest and frankly lazy when someone wants to view every world event through the lens of World War 2 or the Cold War because when a viable threat like China arises, Americans will be caught flat-footed. Here we are caught flat-footed and China is making moves quickly. 

Liberal intellectuals will lecture Americans and Europeans until they are blue in the face about the evils of imperialism and there is certainly cause to view empires as a negative force in the world due to a history of human rights violations. The debate about the empires of the past is for another time, now is the time to ask will our intellectual and moral betters say anything Chinese Imperialism? Not really; it is being reported but I think if we have learned in the Trump era we know when the media wants to make something a priority. China slowly trying to take away land from 18 different countries (India and Taiwan are the famous ones) but they are claiming ownership of the entire South China Sea in order to expand militarily and economically. 

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While commenting on a post about the circumstances in Iran, I found this clip on C-Span.  It is a lecture by Author Joel Rosenberg.  His extensive resume includes former adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu.  He has been dubbed the modern Nostradamus because his novels seem to come true shortly after release.  He wrote a few non-fiction […]

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Trick or Treat: A Conversation with a Young Man


I happened to fall into conversation with a young veterans’ organization member, who turned out to also be eligible for the veteran’s organization to which I belong, due to service in Korea. My outfit needs more fresh blood, so I had an ulterior motive to sit and listen, just prompting him for more of his thoughts. It was a treat to hear a well-spoken young man’s perspective on his own life, work, and service. The trick, really the pleasant surprise, was to then find an amazing breadth and depth to this fellow veteran, who I took from the conversation to be in his mid-20s.

That places him on the cusp between Millennials and Gen-Z. Folks, he was none of the negative stereotypes routinely riffed about his age cohort. He started on active duty, then (fairly recently) transitioned to a reserve component. He was highly focused on leveraging the mutually reinforcing training, certifications, and experience of his civilian and military careers. He had mapped out paths of advancement in both, taking advantage of the commonality in the two technical occupations. Oh, and he had not even needed college to get on this path, but already had thought through the evening/weekend/online schooling that would punch his ticket to the top of his chosen field in both the military and civilian life.

He had already been to the Middle East and Asia, so was looking for opportunities to see Europe and especially Africa in Uncle Sam’s service. And then it got interesting. We really do not understand the Middle East because we have forsaken much of our own intellectual and spiritual inheritance, he observed. We have the Arab world largely on our side or under our control, yet we cannot see the lines everyone there sees, of the Ottoman and Persian empires, let alone the one that once was centered in present-day Iraq. Turkey and Syria are two fixed countries in our eyes, yet Turks have a memory of empire that included Syria and more.

Milton Ezrati joins Paul Beston to discuss escalating trade tensions between the United States and China.

The Trump administration announced new tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods last week, prompting China to order its state-owned businesses to stop purchasing U.S. agricultural products. Ezrati has written on U.S.–China trade issues for City Journal previously, and he maintains that both sides want a deal of some kind—and soon.

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.

President Trump repeatedly referred to military plans that would result in total military victory through total destruction in a week to ten days. The Afghan civilian casualties would be around ten million. President Trump said that was completely morally unacceptable. These comments can be understood to work with his earlier comments about Iranian civilian lives, again sending the message that he cares more for the man and woman on the street than their unaccountable, unelected leaders.

Wile E. Coyote Democrats, President Trump, and a Dangerous World


In case you missed it, two nuclear-armed nations, India and Pakistan, just had an aerial skirmish with bombs dropped and planes shot down. Also, a failed socialist state in our own hemisphere is on the edge of complete lawlessness, as the dictator, Maduro, shut down the last border crossing to stop relief supplies flowing to Venezuelans. Meanwhile, President Trump is practicing tough but patient nuclear diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, the third-generation hereditary North Korean dictator, and tough but patient trade negotiations with President Xi Jinping, the strongest Chinese Communist leader since Chairman Mao, while meeting in a tough, smaller rival to China, Vietnam.

So, naturally, the House Democrats, under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi 1.2, held their first big show hearing with a man convicted of lying to Congress. It went as well as President Trump could have wished. These same geniuses thought having House Democratic women wear white at the State of the Union was a brilliant move, only to be completely owned by a smiling President Trump. Who, again, is the political neophyte?

The congressional Republicans have continued to demonstrate their lack of fitness to govern, helping the Democrats stay in the game. Yet, the Democrats are moving so far left and behaving so foolishly that we should all be investing in Acme stock. Indeed, the only better investment than Acme stock may be proposition bets with British betting houses on President Trump to win reelection in 2020.

Achilles’ Heels, or Am I Being a Heel?


[Updated upon considering some comments. Deletions noted by strike-through; italics annotate additions.]

The conservative media space, social and otherwise, is abuzz with another woman of the left speaking truth we wish to hear to the power of Big Media. Lara Logan is a woman of immense physical courage and moral courage. She has spoken hard truths to real power. She is a real, old-fashioned reporter. Kudos to Lara Logan are warranted. And. Lara Logan is human, like all of us, and we may choose to overlook parts of her humanity that complicate our preferred narrative.

At the height of the Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood drove the Egyptian military’s geriatric President Hosni Mubarak from office with massive street protests, as a prelude to parliamentary election victory for the original Islamist movement. Lara Logan led an unarmed reporting team into a large Egyptian public square to capture the people’s story. The crowd of men turned into a mob, gang-raped, and nearly tore her limb-from-limb with their bare hands.

Kudos to Lara Logan


Lara Logan’s outspoken comments in recent days regarding the biased media and the death of journalism came and went quicker than a lightning bolt. Yet this flash of light lingered long enough to spark a fire. Her comments were read across conservative radio, highlighted in the Washington Examiner, and talked about on Fox News. When I heard that she spoke out, claiming to commit journalistic suicide, my ears perked up. She called the left-wing media propagandists.

“Former CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan said, “responsibility for fake news” begins with journalists as she berated the “liberal” media in a recent interview. “The media everywhere is mostly liberal,” Logan said during a podcast with retired Navy SEAL Mike Ritland on Friday. Logan, who said the interview was “professional suicide for me,” also blamed the media for not pursuing objectivity anymore, arguing journalists have evolved into “political activists.

I have been a fan of Ms. Logan for some time. Her journalistic passion for truth was evident in an outstanding investigation which aired on 60 Minutes, October 14, 2015, called The Hidden Holocaust.

An Open Letter to Mitt Romney


Dear Mr. Romney:

I read your opinion piece in The Washington Post under the interesting heading: “Democracy Dies in Darkness”. You called it: “The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short.”

You say, “A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”

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America is now two plus years into an important story in which there have been untold efforts to avoid having the truth revealed. The latest of these involves foreign allies, Great Britain and Australia, reportedly begging President Trump to reverse his order to declassify the FISA warrant request to surveil an American citizen and Trump […]

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(Continued from part 2a) Zooming out to a more macro level, what is the significance of John Kerry’s shadow diplomacy? Is it just more-aggressive-than-usual partisan gamesmanship? Or is it the clash of two diametrically opposed world views, with one unable to accept the existence of the other? Preview Open

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This is the third installment of a series I’m posting under the theme “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”. The idea is to express thoughts on the current administration using specific figures or events surrounding the administration as support or impetus. Good Trump threads abound on Ricochet, some more laden with strongly opposing views than […]

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The Road To Singapore, not the 1940 film starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, but the 2018 summit featuring President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Michael Auslin, the Hoover Institution’s Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia, explains the historical significance of this first such meeting between the two nations’ heads of state, what steps might come next, and the ricochet effect across the Pacific Rim.

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Today I’m launching a new podcast, Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten, and I’d like to ask for some help from the Ricochet community in making it as successful as possible.   Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten features compelling long-form conversations with exceptional thinkers and doers — primarily though not exclusively of a conservative/libertarian bent — on the most critical […]

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Richard Epstein examines the recent violence in Gaza and explains the hopelessness of current Middle East peace initiatives.

Richard Epstein analyzes Donald Trump’s recent gambits on North Korea and Iran, contrasts the Trump Administration’s approach to foreign policy with the Obama Administration’s, and explains how contract theory should inform negotiations with Pyongyang.

See You in Stockholm


Thank you for the welcome to Ricochet. This is my first post. I’m new to the community as a philosopher (not political commentator) and look forward to the exchange of ideas. 

The truly historic meeting that took place yesterday between the leaders of the nations of the Korean Peninsula didn’t happen by accident or in a vacuum. While pundits speculate on a panoply of factors that may or may not have contributed to the initial negotiations, undeniable is the role played by one Donald J. Trump.