Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

Even if one accepts the view that any bigotry is acceptable or doesn't matter if its toward a powerful group (such as Americans collectively), Ralin's posts constitute blatant ad hominem and apologism for war crimes.

As to the notion underpinning this view, that General Soleiman was merely a soldier, not a criminal, and that any characterization of him as a criminal is American exceptionalism/Imperialism, I offer this rebuttal:

https://aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/s ... 51136.html
Immediately after news broke of the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, some left-wing circles in the West proclaimed with great confidence - yet again - that World War III was around the corner. Previously, these same warnings of global doom were evoked when US President Donald Trump ordered rather toothless strikes on empty military targets in Syria and escalated his rhetoric against North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

And just as a world war did not break out on these previous occasions, it will not break out now either.

Much of the left in the West (the same ones who describe themselves as progressives) also viciously attacked people in the Middle East who celebrated the deaths of Soleimani and al-Muhandis. While it is wrong to praise Trump's decision to assassinate the two commanders as a "noble deed", framing what happened within the old, tired left-wing narrative of US imperialism erases the regional context and the suffering of millions of people in the Middle East at the hands of other powers.

Indeed, it is important to expose Trump's recklessness and political opportunism, but it is inexcusable to ignore the crimes of Soleimani and al-Muhandis and those whom they served.

Trump's motives
With an upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate, more Americans disapproving than approving of his presidency, and an election coming up, Trump is trying to cement his position in US politics and play to his base. His term has been marked by no clear domestic or foreign policy agendas, frequent golfing trips that prompt ethical questions about how federal dollars are being spent, and Twitter meltdowns that often do not have anything to do with reality. In short, when Trump ordered the assassinations, his presidency would not necessarily be described as successful.

While it is clear the US president was motivated by domestic considerations, in the aftermath of the attack, he claimed that he ordered it in the name of fighting global "terrorism" and that Soleimani's assassination meant his reign of "terror" was over.

This rhetoric might help him improve his ratings in advance of his re-election bid in November, but it is simply a lie that Soleimani's assassination will make the world a safer place. In fact, none of Trump's interventions in the Middle East has been of any consequence to the security of the region, contrary to what many on the right have claimed.

People in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere where Soleimani's Quds Force has been active will continue to suffer the consequences of Iran's foreign interference. Al-Muhandis' death and the limited attacks the United States has carried out on the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMFs) will not disband the militia, which is heavily entrenched in Iraq.

Similarly, the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the ISIL (ISIS) group did not make the region any safer from "terrorism". ISIL attacks have continued, and Russia and the Syrian regime have also continued to use the excuse of "anti-terror operations" to step up their military campaigns against civilians opposed to Bashar al-Assad's rule, killing hundreds and displacing hundreds of thousands.

Trump's 2017 and 2018 air raids on Syrian regime targets did nothing to prevent the sustained campaign of extermination Damascus has led against its own population. They also did not result in World War III or war with Russia that some left-wing pundits were predicting on social media.

In fact, throughout his term, Trump has been playing both camps - the right-wing hawks and the left-wing "anti-war" crusaders - with his constant shift of rhetoric between withdrawal and disengagement from the Middle East and aggressive action.

He "pulled out" of Syria, but sent back troops to "guard the oil". He promised tough action on Iran after attacks in the Gulf but did not retaliate the way his allies wanted.

It is about time that both sides admit Trump makes domestic and foreign policy decisions based on his ego and what suits him, not based on standing up for "our people" or some diabolic imperialistic plot.

Regional reactions in context
The assassinations of Soleimani and al-Muhandis gave some Middle East residents a sense of relief that they have finally been rid of two militia commanders who have brought much suffering to their communities.

But when Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenis and other Arabs posted celebratory comments on the assassinations of two commanders they perceive as war criminals, Iran's defenders immediately criticised these people, resorting to insisting they didn't know anything about their own countries, claiming they are pro-imperialism.

In so doing, these self-identified leftists and "anti-war" activists once again downplayed the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the region. For them, the only civilian deaths that can be acknowledged are those caused by the military intervention of the US, Israel or their allies.

However, it is hard to cover up the crimes Iran and its regional proxies have committed over the past 10 years. Iran has backed and even advised on the brutal crackdown by the Syrian regime on opposition protests and later the mass killing of civilians through areal bombardment and merciless sieges; it has also sent Afghan refugee children to fight on its behalf in Syria. It has sent military equipment and personnel to the Houthis in Yemen, who just like their enemies, the Saudis and the Emiratis, have been accused of committing war crimes in the Yemeni conflict. In Iraq, they have supported and directed militias which have committed various crimes against Iraqi civilians.

In this sense, it is hardly surprising that Syrians who have gone through the trauma of losing friends and family in the siege of Aleppo and the insult of seeing images of Soleimani marching through their city (which they may never be able to return to) are celebrating his demise. It is also hardly surprising that Iraqi protesters, who have had to drag the bodies of friends shot in the head with Iranian military-grade gas grenades during attacks by Iranian-backed militias on their demonstrations, would now be cheering the demise of al-Muhandis who had been accused of directing the crackdown.

These same left-wing people who proclaim concern about foreign intervention, refuse to acknowledge the Iranian intervention in Syria, Yemen and Iraq when the people of those countries rebelled against authoritarianism, corruption, sectarianism, and socioeconomic collapse. When protests broke out in 2018 and 2019 in Iran against the Iranian authorities, they once again framed them in the foreign-sponsored regime-change narrative.

The constant need to defend the Iranian government, even against the protests of Iranian people who have suffered under this government, is an exercise in mental gymnastics. This is the same left-wing segment that equates criticism of Iran with being an ally of Israel, which is highly problematic given Iran and Israel are committing the same crimes in the Middle East.

Only US imperialism exists?
There has been much noise about US's breach of Iraqi sovereignty, but there has been little said of Iranian and Russian actions violating sovereignty in the region. The constant presence of Soleimani in Iraq to issue orders to Iraqi officials and forces is just one of many signs of Iran's lack of respect for Iraq's sovereignty. By the admission of these same leftists, Soleimani was intervening in Iraq to "fight" US intervention.

In Syria, what these self-proclaimed anti-war activists see as Iranian and Russian deployment at the invitation of a legitimate president, Syrians see as an occupation allowed by a dictator who they never elected in free and fair elections.

The debate around Soleimani and al-Muhandis' assassinations has served to illustrate, once again, the inconsistent perception by a segment of the "progressive" left of what constitutes "imperialism". They readily brand US and Israeli actions as imperialist; yet aggression by others - whether Russia, China, Iran or their allies - which causes equal damage and civilian deaths, is ignored, downplayed, or wrapped in "anti-terror" narratives (rather similar to the ones the US and Israel use).

Thus, US and Israeli attacks on the Iranian forces or the Assad regime have been decried as acts of imperialism while the mass killings of Syrian civilians by occupying powers Iran and Russia have been ignored, questioned or presented as "terrorist" deaths.

Criticising the US and Israel while ignoring the crimes of others, however, does no good for the people on the ground bearing the brunt of geopolitical battles between these global and regional powers. Crying "World War III is coming" every time the US engages in aggression also ignores the fact that millions of people in the Middle East and elsewhere, where US, Israeli and also Iranian, Russian and Chinese intervention have stirred conflict, are already living the realities of such a war.

Being truly anti-war would mean opposing aggression by all and condemning all those accused of war crimes - whether Qassem Soleimani or Eddie Gallagher.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial stance.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf »

Ace Pace wrote: 2020-07-01 03:23amTypically, we do not consider enemy combatants murderers. I find it hard to believe the U.S. should consider Iranian military leaders criminals and not enemy combatants. While there is no formal war between the U.S. and Iran, in practice there is.
When you say "enemy combatants," are you referring to people just on the opposing side of a conflict, or the people legally classed as that who wind up in Gitmo?
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ace Pace »

Gandalf wrote: 2020-07-01 09:30pm
Ace Pace wrote: 2020-07-01 03:23amTypically, we do not consider enemy combatants murderers. I find it hard to believe the U.S. should consider Iranian military leaders criminals and not enemy combatants. While there is no formal war between the U.S. and Iran, in practice there is.
When you say "enemy combatants," are you referring to people just on the opposing side of a conflict, or the people legally classed as that who wind up in Gitmo?
IANAL?

It's clear to me that opposing side of conflict is a very wide bar, unfortunately. In cases of proxy warfare and asymmetric warfare, the lines are even blurrier. Is the person in the EU who is funneling funds to Hezbollah an enemy combatant? Probably not, but if he is funneling arms or information, maybe yes?

To be clear, I do not think Gitmo should exist or that many of the people there are enemy combatants but I feel that's a non sequitur.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin »

The Romulan Republic wrote: 2020-07-01 08:31pm Ad hominem, nationalist bigotry, nationalist stereotyping, defamation.
Rom, do you have a hearing problem? If you don't you might want to get your ears checked, because if you can't hear the sound of the point wooshing over your head right now then there must be something wrong. My 'ad hominem' was me mocking you for the fact that you apparently interpret mentions of 'the U.S.' in an exchange between other posters as being references to you, personally. I, being a helpful and friendly person tried to convey to you how silly that assumption is but apparently it's not working, thus my concern. So, let me say it more bluntly: Unless your name is Colbert you are not America.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by bilateralrope »

Trump administration gives TikTok 45 days to sell to Microsoft or leave US [Updated]
Short-form video platform beloved by teens seen as a national security threat.
KATE COX - 8/4/2020, 7:23 AM


After weeks of rumor and speculation, the Trump administration this weekend gave TikTok's parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, 45 days to sell off the social media sensation or else stop operating in the United States—and Microsoft looks to be the buyer.

Microsoft on Sunday confirmed what several media outlets had been speculating since Friday, saying it is in talks to buy TikTok's operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and may also invite other US investors to take minority stakes in the deal.

"Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020," the company said in a corporate blog post. "During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President."

Specifically, the transaction would take place to allay US concerns about data being stored in China and possibly accessed by the Chinese government, the blog post said:
This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections. The operating model for the service would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.

Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred.
A national security threat?
US regulators have been expressing concerns about TikTok's Chinese ownership since last year. In October, Senate leaders from both parties pushed for intelligence agencies to open an investigation of TikTok. "TikTok's terms of service and privacy policies describe how it collects data from its users and their devices, including user content and communications, IP address, location-related data, device identifiers, cookies, metadata, and other sensitive personal information," the senators wrote at the time. "While the company has stated that TikTok does not operate in China and stores US user data in the US, ByteDance is still required to adhere to the laws of China."

By the time a week had passed, regulators were obliging—the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, opened a review in November. CFIUS, which is based in the Treasury Department, comprises members from several agencies that review transactions in which a foreign buyer acquires a US firm for potential national security concerns. Since 2019, CFIUS has expanded authority also to investigate certain kinds of major investments that aren't straight acquisitions as well.

TikTok was formed when ByteDance bought US firm Musical.ly for roughly $1 billion in 2017 and then rebranded and relaunched it under the TikTok name. CFIUS did not review the Musical.ly deal at the time, but it has the authority to do so retroactively—as it now is. That kind of review is what led to President Donald Trump's 2018 executive order prohibiting Broadcom from purchasing rival Qualcomm (even though Qualcomm had vehemently turned down every single offer Broadcom made it).

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in July that the administration was considering an outright ban on TikTok as well as potentially expanding that type of ban to other Chinese firms. "With respect to the Chinese apps on people's cell phones I can assure you the United States will get this one right," Pompeo said. "I don't want to get out in front of the president, but it's something we’re looking at."

Tick... tock...
Trump on Friday night said unequivocally that he wanted to ban TikTok. "As far as TikTok is concerned, we're banning them from the United States. ... I have that authority," he told reporters while on Air Force One, indicating an executive order could come as soon as Saturday.

Other officials inside the administration, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, pushed for a sale instead of a ban, sources told Reuters and the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke by phone with Trump on Sunday, after which the White House agreed to the 45-day sale deadline and Microsoft made its public statement about the potential deal.

Update 3:23pm ET: In the hours after Ars published this story, President Trump told reporters he approved of the potential Microsoft transaction.

If Nadella wants to "go ahead" with the deal, "he can try," Trump said. "We set a date, I set a date, of around September 15th, at which point it's going to be out of business in the United States. But if somebody, whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else, buys it, that'll be interesting."

Inexplicably, Trump also added: "More than anything else, I said a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States. Because we're making it possible for this deal to happen. Right now, they don't have any rights, unless we give it to them. So if we're going to give them the rights, then it has to come into, it has to come into this country."

The commission he imagines the federal government receiving from the deal seemed to be foremost on his mind. "So it'll close down on September 15th, unless Microsoft or somebody else is able to buy it, and work out a deal, an appropriate deal, so the Treasury of the— really the Treasury, I suppose you would say, of the United States, gets a lot of money. A lot of money," Trump concluded.

Although the administration can arguably require ByteDance to divest TikTok on national security grounds, Trump did not explain what legal basis or mechanism would make his proposal that the United States get a cut—a "lot of money" or otherwise—from the transaction possible.
So Trump thinks Microsoft paying ByteDance for ownership of TikTok will lead to the US Treasury getting a cut. I wonder if he'll even notice when that's not what happens.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Enigma »

bilateralrope wrote: 2020-08-03 11:44pm So Trump thinks Microsoft paying ByteDance for ownership of TikTok will lead to the US Treasury getting a cut. I wonder if he'll even notice when that's not what happens.
It is almost like Trump doesn't know how a business is run.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy »

Trump reimposes tariffs on Canadian aluminium. Its almost like he is trying to act tough for his base. Or he could be a Russian agent who is trying to continue American economic decline during a pandemic. Who knows.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Tribble »

mr friendly guy wrote: 2020-08-07 10:34am Trump reimposes tariffs on Canadian aluminium. Its almost like he is trying to act tough for his base. Or he could be a Russian agent who is trying to continue American economic decline during a pandemic. Who knows.
Not really surprised, Trump never had any intention of honouring the updated NAFTA to begin with (which has only been in force for a Month). It’s totally in character for him to strong arm people to sign agreements in his favour, then break the agreement before the ink even dries.

Canada is a vassal state with no military and WMDs to act as a deterrent (nor is there the political/ public will to create such a force). Plus most of our trade is still with the US. So there’s not much we can do at the end of the day. Though it doesn’t help that our current PM is about a useful as a wet paper bag.

Honestly, I’m starting to view the US as potential enemy power similar to Russia and China, but at least In the ladder cases we don’t share a physical border.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy »

Tribble wrote: 2020-08-07 04:03pm Not really surprised, Trump never had any intention of honouring the updated NAFTA to begin with (which has only been in force for a Month). It’s totally in character for him to strong arm people to sign agreements in his favour, then break the agreement before the ink even dries.
Just found out Canada while retaliating as expected, has to do so on aluminium (er I mean aluminum as you North Americans say it), products whereas last time they had more free reign to target other US products including beverages produced in states which voted for Trump. Apparently they can't do this anymore under the new NAFTA which Trump kind of broke at least in spirit if not in law. Am I understanding the situation right? In which case how incompetent was Canada to sign such a deal.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Tribble »

mr friendly guy wrote: 2020-08-08 05:33am
Tribble wrote: 2020-08-07 04:03pm Not really surprised, Trump never had any intention of honouring the updated NAFTA to begin with (which has only been in force for a Month). It’s totally in character for him to strong arm people to sign agreements in his favour, then break the agreement before the ink even dries.
Just found out Canada while retaliating as expected, has to do so on aluminium (er I mean aluminum as you North Americans say it), products whereas last time they had more free reign to target other US products including beverages produced in states which voted for Trump. Apparently they can't do this anymore under the new NAFTA which Trump kind of broke at least in spirit if not in law. Am I understanding the situation right? In which case how incompetent was Canada to sign such a deal.
Ya, the Americans pretty much got what they wanted (in particular Trump wanted Canada to open up its dairy market) with nothing in return save a promise to drop the tariffs... which the Americans promptly broke anyways.

Bear in mind that being a vassal state in all but name Canada doesn’t have much choice in the matter- no real military force or WMDs to act as a deterrent, and an economy almost entirely dependant on the US. Doesn’t help that a good chunk of the Canadian public has deluded itself into thinking that all we have to do is hold hands and sing kumbaya, and everyone will be friends with us and treat us nicely. Our current PM is a perfect reflection of this.

Americans don’t really care what we do with our military (since it’s so small it makes no difference) but when it comes to economic and foreign affairs, when Americans say jump we say how hi.

We’ll even do their dirty work for them by potentially breaking our own laws to arrest people Americans want.

Did you know that American police / federal agents / have the right to operate on Canadian soil while not being subject to Canadian law? I wonder how many Canadians have disappeared over the years that way?

IIRC Americans also have first dibs on our natural resources if there is a shortage.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Tribble »

I’ll give Trump credit where it’s due - other American presidencies have been just as nasty on occasion, but they were usually pretty good at pretending to act civilly. Trump can’t be bothered and has dropped all pretence, so at least any lingering belief that Americans are reliable and trustworthy allies has been finally swept away. The western world now sees America for what it really is better than ever before, and we have Trump to thank for that.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy »

Hey Trump, how is that trade war thing going for you?
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy »

Anyone remember the 80s comedy Private Benjamin starring Goldie Hawn, where the US try to make her the wife of an Arab Sheikh to improve diplomatic relations. Well.....

https://thehill.com/homenews/administra ... ld-hook-up
Sarah Sanders memoir reportedly says Trump joked she should hook up with Kim Jong Un
BY JUSTINE COLEMAN - 09/02/20 11:07 AM EDT


Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote in her memoir that President Trump joked in 2018 that she should hook up with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after he winked at her, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Sanders’s book detailed that the president teased her, encouraging her to “go to North Korea and take one for the team” after the officials had met Kim during a summit in Singapore in June 2018. A copy of the book, titled “Speaking for Myself” and slated to be released on Tuesday, was obtained by The Guardian.

The former press secretary’s book differs from past releases from former White House employees who have released tell-alls criticizing the president. The daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) praises Trump in her book, which is subtitled, “Faith, Freedom and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House."

But Sanders does highlight controversial, misogynistic incidents involving her, Trump and his aides, according to The Guardian.

For the Singapore meeting, Sanders claims she was taking notes when she looked up “to notice Kim staring at me.”

“We made direct eye contact and Kim nodded and appeared to wink at me,” she wrote, according to The Guardian. “I was stunned. I quickly looked down and continued taking notes.”

“All I could think was, ‘What just happened? Surely Kim Jong-un did not just mark me!?’” she added.

The then-White House press secretary said she recounted the incident to Trump and his then-chief of staff John Kelly in the limousine while heading to the airport.

“Kim Jong-un hit on you! He did! He f------ hit on you!” Trump reacted, with The Guardian noting she did not spell out the expletive.

She reportedly responded to Trump saying that was not what she meant, adding, “Sir, please stop.”

Sanders wrote that Trump joshed: “Well, Sarah, that settles it. You’re going to North Korea and taking one for the team! Your husband and kids will miss you, but you’ll be a hero to your country!”

She then said Trump and Kelly, who she said backed the president, “howled with laughter.”
Click on the link to read the rest.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by bilateralrope »

Trump ban on Chinese drone parts risks worsening wildfires
Only a quarter of possible controlled burning has been carried out because of order.
KIRAN STACEY, FINANCIAL TIMES - 9/4/2020, 3:50 AM


The US interior department’s decision not to buy more drones with Chinese parts has made it more difficult to fight wildfires, according to an internal departmental memo that lays bare one cost of the Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese technology.

The memo, which was written by the department’s Office of Aviation Services earlier this year, found that by the end of the year, the department will have carried out only a quarter of the controlled burning it might otherwise have done had it gone ahead with planned drone purchases.

The US is experiencing one of its worst years for wildfire outbreaks thanks to hot weather and a lack of firefighters. And while none of those appear to have happened on federal land, government insiders warn the de facto ban on buying drones with Chinese components risks making the situation worse.

The internal memo, which was written earlier this summer and has been seen by the Financial Times, warned: “[The department’s current fleet] must expand to meet the demand of preventative measures mandated for the reduction of wildfire via vegetation reduction.”

It found that by the end of the year, the department will only have carried out 28 percent of the controlled burning it could have done had it purchased 17 new drone-based firefighting systems as planned.

David Bernhardt, the interior secretary, announced the crackdown on Chinese-made drones last year amid concerns about the national security implications of flying them over federal lands. It was one of a wider set of actions the Trump administration has announced targeting Chinese technology companies.

The department has the largest civilian drone program in the federal government, used for everything from firefighting to monitoring wildlife. But it has been mostly unable to fly since last year, when Bernhardt decided all 810 departmental aircraft should be grounded pending a review into the security risks they pose, given that they all contain Chinese parts.

Bernhardt did allow an exemption for carrying out controlled burning on federal land, a regular method of halting wildfires in their tracks. But at the same time, Susan Combs, one of his assistant secretaries, said that no new drones should be purchased without her authorization, which she has not since given.

This decision halted the planned purchase of 17 new Ignis systems, which are used to start controlled fires. Without them, the internal memo says the department has either used aircraft manned by firefighters—putting lives at risk—or not carried out the burning at all.

It said: “Denying the acquisition of UAS [drone] aerial ignition devices directly transfers risk to firefighters who must use manned aircraft to complete these missions rather than a safer option utilizing UAS.” And it recommended restarting the planned purchases—something that has not yet happened.

The interior department said: “Secretary Bernhardt is committed to deploying all resources necessary to protect human health and safety. The secretary’s order grounding the department’s drones achieves these important objectives while addressing serious national security concerns that were raised in classified briefings late last year.”
Trumps policy literally risks making the US burn.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy »

Bloomberg
U.S. Violated Trade Rules With Tariffs on China, WTO Says
By Bryce Baschuk
15 September 2020, 22:06 GMT+8 Updated on 15 September 2020, 22:49 GMT+8
WTO panel upholds a complaint filed by China over U.S. tariffs
The U.S. imposed levies over intellectual rights violations

The World Trade Organization undercut the main justification for President Donald Trump’s trade war against China, saying that American tariffs on Chinese goods violate international rules.

A panel of three WTO trade experts on Tuesday said the U.S. broke global regulations when it imposed tariffs on Chinese goods in 2018. Washington has imposed levies on $400 billion in Chinese exports.

Read More: The U.S.-China War Over Trade and Tariffs, Explained: QuickTake

The panel said in its report “that the United States had not met its burden of demonstrating that the measures are provisionally justified.”

While the ruling bolsters Beijing’s claims, Washington can effectively veto the decision by lodging an appeal at any point in the next 60 days. That’s because the Trump administration has already paralyzed the WTO’s appellate body, a tactic that has rendered toothless the world’s foremost arbiter of trade.

The dispute centers on the Trump administration’s use of a 1970s-era U.S. trade law to unilaterally launch its commercial conflict against China in 2018.

China claimed the tariffs violated the WTO’s most-favored treatment provision because the measures failed to provide the same treatment to all WTO members. China also alleged the duties broke a key dispute-settlement rule that requires countries to first seek recourse from the WTO before imposing retaliatory measures against another country.


The U.S. tariffs against China were authorized under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which empowers the president to levy tariffs and other import restrictions whenever a foreign country imposes unfair trade practices that affect U.S. commerce. The Trump administration has claimed the tariffs were necessary to confront China’s widespread violations of intellectual property rights and forced technology transfer policies.

Though the use of Section 301 isn’t unprecedented, the provision largely fell out of favor in the 1990s after the U.S. agreed to first follow the WTO’s dispute settlement process before it triggered any retaliatory trade actions.

While the European Union has so far been spared U.S. levies based on the controversial Section 301, the 27-nation bloc may breathe a sigh of relief over Tuesday’s WTO verdict. That’s because the Trump administration has threatened to use Section 301 to hit European goods with levies in retaliation over the taxation of digital companies in the EU.

— With assistance by Jonathan Stearns
I wonder if the US will pack up its ball and go home, and leave the WTO, just like how it did with the WHO this year and the International court of justice in 2018.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Coop D'etat »

Tribble is completely wrong that Canada signed away the option of target retalitory tariffs. That's exactly what Ottawa did in response to the ridiculous aluminium tariffs and guess what, the White House folded right away.

So much for vassal state.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy »

Coop D'etat wrote: 2020-09-15 09:19pm Tribble is completely wrong that Canada signed away the option of target retalitory tariffs. That's exactly what Ottawa did in response to the ridiculous aluminium tariffs and guess what, the White House folded right away.

So much for vassal state.
So it seems tariffs have been replaced with a quota.

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/5165 ... -on-canada
But the administration says it has essentially replaced the tariffs with a monthly quota and that it will retroactively charge the import tax should too much aluminum be sold across the border.

The quotas amount to 83,000 tons in September and November and 70,000 tons in October and December, but Canada can exceed those limits by 5 percent without triggering a response.
How likely is Canada to exceed those monthly quotas by > 5%? If its very unlikely then I think Ottawa managed to pull off a win under the circumstances. If its likely Canada will exceed, it might not necessarily be as bad as tariffs, but not as good as before Trump broke the deal.

From the article it seems Canada didn't even need to announce retaliatory tariffs to get this new agreement, only threatened to. Which begs the question, what were they targeting that got the WH spooked?
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Coop D'etat »

Ottawa keeps tabs of which specific industries are in which congressional districts and hit vulnerable ones with influencial Congresspersons. It literally hits them where they live.

I'd be less successful if there was any real purpose to these periodic eruptions, but they're political stunts that get less fun when there's a political cost to doing them.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Solauren »

Also, as it's getting close to the election, Canada could easily start piling on tariffs, hit all the major industries, and completely screw over Trumps voter base.

Trump wanted an easy win to give his election campaign a kick in the ass. Instead, he got kicked in the ass.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf »

I can only assume Trump thought he was dealing with the stereotype of Canada as opposed to an actual country?
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That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy »

So had a bit of a look in more detail at this quota business.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/alumin ... -1.5724391
Washington's declared limit varies from 70,000 to 83,000 tons per month of non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum. Statistics published by industry, gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau, suggest that could be a source of future tension.
The link in the article leads here
https://www.aluminum.org/sites/default/ ... 80520.xlsx

If I am reading this right, in the column 7601.10 (which google says is Aluminum, Not Alloyed, Unwrought), US imported 190,798 metric tonnes from Canada in June 2020 alone. In fact each month from July 2019 US imported more than 100,000 metric tonnes from Canada. Now 83,000 imperial tons to metric tonnes is around 75,296. Note, no data is available on the spreadsheet after June 2020

So each month the US seems to easily import more than the 83,000 tons per month quota. I note Canada disagreed with this quota but it looks like we will have to see what the WH response is to this quota. Whether Trump will raise a stink with the election so close is the question.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by bilateralrope »

REPORT: THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION LET SEX OFFENDERS OFF BECAUSE IT WAS TOO BUSY SEPARATING MIGRANT BABIES FROM THEIR PARENTS
An internal investigation reveals the Justice Department told lawyers to prosecute migrants regardless of the age of the children they would be separated from.

BY BESS LEVIN

OCTOBER 7, 2020


Earlier this month, Melania Trump’s former adviser and friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, released a recording of the first lady seemingly downplaying the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their families. “I say that I’m working on Christmas and planning for the Christmas and they said, ‘Oh, what about the children that they were separated?’ Give me a fucking break,” Trump complained to her friend, adding that, actually, these kids were way better off than they were before Donald Trump split up their families. “The kids, they say, ‘Wow, I will have my own bed? I will sleep on the bed? I will have a cabinet for my clothes?’ It’s so sad to hear it, but they didn’t have that in their own countries, they sleep on the floor,” she said. “They are taken care of nicely [at the border]. But you know, yeah, they are not with parents, it’s sad. But when they come here alone or with coyotes or illegally, you know, you need to do something.”

According to the results of an internal investigation by the Department of Justice’s inspector general, “doing something” would be a vast understatement when it came to the administration’s border policy. Writing in a draft report, I.G. Michael Horowitz said that despite five U.S. attorneys—including three appointed by Trump—telling the DOJ they were “deeply concerned” about an order to prosecute all undocumented immigrants even if it meant separating children from their parents, Jeff Sessions, the attorney general at the time, made it clear that they had no choice. “We need to take away children,” Sessions reportedly told the prosecutors, according to notes from participants in the call. If that wasn’t chilling enough, about a week later, per the New York Times, then deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein told the five prosecutors that the government shouldn’t have refused to prosecute two cases just because the children were “barely more than infants,” making it clear that kids of any age were fair game. “Per the A.G.’s policy, we should NOT be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child,” John Bash, the outgoing U.S. attorney in western Texas, wrote to his staff.

Other disturbing revelations in Horowitz’s draft report included the fact that the government took “breastfeeding defendant moms away from their infants,” a detail one prosecutor said “I did not believe...until I looked at the duty log”; that senior officials in the DOJ, which was “a driving force” behind the separation policy, didn’t think the welfare of the children was the department’s responsibility; and that in their zeal to rip literal babies from their parents, they overlooked arguably more important cases:
Border Patrol officers missed serious felony cases because they were stretched too thin by the zero-tolerance policy requiring them to detain and prosecute all of the misdemeanor illegal entry cases. One Texas prosecutor warned top Justice Department officials in 2018 that “sex offenders were released” as a result.
While DOJ officials have claimed they believed adults would be prosecuted and reunited with their children within a matter of hours, the Times notes, Horowitz uncovered a memo informing top officials that adults’ sentences would range from three to 14 days, all but ensuring the children would be sent “to the custody of officials at the Health and Human Services Department for long periods of time.” He wrote: “We found no evidence, before or after receipt of the memorandum, that DOJ leaders sought to expedite the process for completing sentencing in order to facilitate reunification of separated families.”

Gene Hamilton, an ally of Stephen Miller, who built the administration’s assault on immigration, argued that DOJ officials were taking direction from the president, who “ranted” and went on “a tirade” during an April 2018 meeting in which he demanded the Justice Department prosecute as many migrants as possible. Hamilton declined to comment to the Times, as did Horowitz’s office, while Sessions did not respond to requests for comment. Rosenstein said in a response to the report that he “never ordered anyone to prosecute a case.” In a statement, Justice Department spokeswoman Alexa Vance claimed “the draft report relied on for this article contains numerous factual errors and inaccuracies.” She added that “while DOJ is responsible for the prosecutions of defendants, it had no role in tracking or providing custodial care to the children of defendants,” which doesn’t actually paint the department in a better light. And, she alleged that whoever leaked the draft must have some nefarious motive (like, perhaps, that they think people should know this administration is full of monsters). “Both the timing and misleading content of this leak raise troubling questions about the motivations of those responsible for it,” she said.

Update: In an additional statement, Vance told the Hive: “The Department of Justice and current and former employees involved in this process have already provided detailed information to the OIG demonstrating that decisions about which aliens to arrest and refer for prosecution were made by the Department of Homeland Security. DHS arrest and referral policies were based upon the recommendations of their top immigration officials, who had decades of experience in immigration law enforcement.”
So prosecuting sex offenders was less important than separating families.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by loomer »

"Doctors keep their scalpels and other instruments handy, for emergencies. Keep your philosophy ready too—ready to understand heaven and earth. In everything you do, even the smallest thing, remember the chain that links them. Nothing earthly succeeds by ignoring heaven, nothing heavenly by ignoring the earth." M.A.A.A
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by LadyTevar »

DING-DONG, THE BASTARD'S GONE

THREAD LOCKED.
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