Tag Archives: US foreign policy

Palestinian Arab officials freeze communications with Trump regime

Source: CNN

“The Palestinian leadership has frozen communications with the Trump administration following the White House’s threat to close the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington. Ashraf Khatib, a spokesman for the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, confirmed the move to CNN on Tuesday. The decision comes after the Trump administration threatened to shut down the PLO office last week, citing a rarely invoked 2015 law saying that if the Palestinians move against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the US can close the PLO’s base in the US capital.” (11/21/17)


North Korea and the futility of sanctions

Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“The U.S. often imposes sanctions to show that it is ‘acting’ in response to an international problem, and it makes no difference to Washington if the sanctions will have any positive effect on the targeted regime’s behavior. Sanctions usually fail to compel the changes in behavior that their advocates claim they will bring about, but that doesn’t stop these same people from insisting on imposing more and more despite their repeated failures to achieve results. Additional punitive measures have typically made authoritarian regimes more intransigent and combative, and in this case that has the potential to be very dangerous for the entire region. North Korea is already the most heavily-sanctioned state on the planet, and as we can all see those sanctions have utterly failed. Piling on more will achieve nothing of value.” (11/21/17)


Trump’s declaration of North Korea as a state sponsor of terror is just another in a long line of policy flip-flops

Source: Cato Institute
by A Trevor Thrall & Erik Goepner

“President Trump’s objective of getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal is clear. His strategy for achieving that goal, however, is not. Even less clear are Trump’s communications to the world, and North Korea, about American intentions. He has flip-flopped and changed his tune on North Korea multiple times in just his first 10 months in office, making it impossible for anyone to know what he will do next. Effective foreign policy, on the contrary, requires the president to signal credible and consistent assurances to allies and threats to adversaries.” (11/20/17)


Why are we helping Saudi Arabia destroy Yemen?

Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

“It’s remarkable that whenever you read an article about Yemen in the mainstream media, the central role of Saudi Arabia and the United States in the tragedy is glossed over or completely ignored. A recent Washington Post article purporting to tell us ‘how things got so bad’ explains to us that, ‘it’s a complicated story’ involving ‘warring regional superpowers, terrorism, oil, and an impending climate catastrophe.’ No, Washington Post, it’s simpler than that. The tragedy in Yemen is the result of foreign military intervention in the internal affairs of that country.” (11/20/17)


Flirting with war in North Korea

Source: Antiwar.com
by Lucy Steigerwald

“America remains in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, and myriad other locations across the globe. It continues to help Saudi Arabia destroy Yemen, which is now on the brink of utter disaster. Trump has even removed the meager restrictions on arms funding to Saudi Arabia that President Obama placed into effect in 2016. However, the question of the summer, and now the fall continues to be whether the US will proceed farther into a war with North Korea.” (11/16/17)


China: Regime will send envoy to North Korea following Trump visit

Source: Politico

“Following President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing, China said Wednesday that it would send a high-level special envoy to North Korea amid an extended chill in relations between the neighbors over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. Song Tao, the head of China’s ruling Communist Party’s International Department, will travel to Pyongyang on Friday to report on outcomes of the party’s national congress held last month, the official Xinhua News Agency said. … Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang downplayed any connection between Song’s trip and Trump’s visit, saying it was ‘common practice’ for the Communist Party and North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party to exchange views.” (11/15/17)


The Lebanon crisis: Who emboldened the Saudis?

Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“As one commentator put it, all Middle Eastern conflicts ‘are all part of the same machinations — a great strategic power play between two regional heavyweights that has suddenly shifted from back rooms to potent realisation.’ And yet while it’s true that Iran-Saudi rivalry is inflaming conflict throughout the Middle East, there is also too much focus on the role played by these ‘two regional heavyweights.’ It’s a focus that excludes the role played by the West, especially the US, in the destabilising dynamics now ripping apart the region; a focus that ignores the extent to which the US and its allies are encouraging Saudi Arabia, emboldening it in its conflict with Iran; a focus that leaves unexamined the creation of the conditions in which the long-standing Saudi-Iranian rivalry could develop such an explosive trajectory.” (11/14/17)


The US and Saudi Arabia are about to make more disastrous and idiotic mistakes, part 2

Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“Two things are crystal clear. First, [Mohammed bin Salman] is willing to risk everything in order to fight a war of regional dominance against Iran. Second, Trump also wants a fight with Iran and is willing to use the exact same Iraq playbook as George W. Bush to get it started. I wrote a three part series on the topic earlier this year, which you can find here. If we assume that’s right, Lebanon appears the place MBS wants to get this fight going next, but it’s unlikely to end there. He’ll carry on with his lunacy until he’s either deposed, or suffers monumental and terminal losses. I don’t think there’ll be much of a coalition of the willing in this battle either. It’s likely to be the U.S., a crazy Saudi princeling and possibly Israel against the rest of the world.” (11/08/17)


Secession — not military intervention — can help Venezuela

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Jose Nino

“Not too long ago, US President Donald Trump made headlines by suggesting a potential military option in Venezuela in the face of the country’s rapidly decaying political situation. It’s undeniable that Venezuela is suffering a humanitarian and economic crisis of unprecedented proportions all thanks to the socialist policies that the country has experimented with over the past two decades. But a military intervention in Venezuela is likely to be costly and damaging to Americans, while disastrous for Venezuelans. … If the Us were to have any diplomatic role in how Venezuela transitions out of its current tyrannical regime, It should pledge to recognize and engage in unilateral free trade with any breakaway regions of Venezuela that seek to escape the current regime.” (11/07/17)


Trump plays with fire in Saudi Arabia

Source: Cato Institute
by Emma Ashford

“In recent months, the White House has managed to alienate most U.S. allies. The key exception has been President Donald Trump’s apparently excellent personal relationship with Saudi leaders, following up his successful trip with strong praise for Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s young crown prince and putative reformer. Yet in his unstinting support for the prince, Trump is also playing with fire. Mohammed bin Salman is indeed seeking to reform the Saudi system, but he is also shaking up Saudi social and political institutions, and interfering in the affairs of his neighbors. His rash actions could have potentially destabilizing consequences for both the country itself, and for the broader Middle East.” (11/06/17)