Category Archives: International news

Danes won’t give up Greenland? Why, I never …

Donald J. Trump wants to purchase Greenland, the monstrous Arctic territorial island that belongs to Denmark.

My question is this: With what? How much money? Surely the president doesn’t think he can plunk down, oh, $7 million … the amount of money President Andrew Johnson paid in 1867 for Alaska in that purchase from the Russians. They called it “Seward’s Folly,” in “honor” of then Secretary of State William Seward, who negotiated the deal with the czar; it turned out to be a damn good investment.

Trump decided he would postpone a planned visit to Denmark after that country’s prime minister balked at the notion of selling Greenland to the United States.

Trump is trying to wheel-deal a real estate transaction the way he did when he just a commercial real estate mogul.

Good grief, dude. Get real.

The idiocy that comes from Donald Trump continues to astound many of us. Not those who hang on to his every ridiculous utterance, though. They’ll just need to explain to the rest of us how it is that their man, Trump, is not embarrassing the nation he was elected to govern.

Must I remind them that Donald Trump’s business credentials aren’t nearly as shiny and spiffy as he portrayed them while running for president? There. I just did.

POTUS is proving to be irredeemable

There can be no mistake, no misunderstanding now about the president of the United States.

Donald John Trump is without remorse. He is an irredeemable loudmouth. U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib has declined to visit Israel after the Israeli government granted her entry to visit her grandmother in the West Bank.

She said she was disappointed in Israel’s reaction to Trump’s admonition to keep her and fellow Muslim U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar out of the country. He said the two women “hate all Jews.” The Israelis heeded the president and denied them entry.

Now, though, Tlaib has said she isn’t going. Trump’s reaction? He said via Twitter that Tlaib “set up” the Israelis, who he said “acted appropriately” in granting her entry after first blocking it.

Trump’s moronic pronouncements continue to demonstrate loudly and clearly his abject unfitness for high office. He continues to sow seeds of discontent and discord. He managed with this effort to block Reps. Tlaib and Omar from entering Israel to anger AIPAC, the nation’s top pro-Israel lobby.

This man cannot be persuaded to show decorum. He continues to disgrace the country, his office and even those who continue to support him … if only they would realize they are being disgraced.

A ‘sign of weakness’? Seriously, Mr. President?

Donald Trump told Israeli officials that admitting two Muslim U.S. congresswomen into their country would be a “sign of weakness.” So, Israel has blocked the entry of Democrats Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

In doing so, Israel has allowed itself to be sucked into an ugly, messy and intemperate U.S. domestic political dispute between the Republican president and two freshmen members of the House of Representatives.

The weakness, therefore, was demonstrated when Israel succumbed to Trump’s latest Twitter tirade against these women with whom he has been waging a distasteful war of words and will.

Omar and Tlaib have been critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians; Tlaib is of Palestinian descent. Trump, though, accuses them of “hating Jews” and “hating Israel” and, oh yeah, of “hating” the United States of America.

Now the Israelis have become a party to this ridiculous internal dispute.

Trump’s good pal, Israelis Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would seem to want to avoid being pushed around by the U.S. president. However, the way I see it, that’s exactly what has happened here.

Disgraceful.

National intelligence network takes another hit

The director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, is heading for the door Thursday. He served the nation with diligence and distinction. He spoke the truth about the threats to the nation.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, didn’t listen to him. Coats will be gone very soon.

So, too, will his No. 2, the deputy director of national intelligence, Sue Gordon, a career CIA official. She’s a pro. Gordon also served for many years in the national intelligence network with supreme diligence.

Gordon is leaving office along with Coats.

What is wrong with this picture? Plenty. I now will explain briefly.

The DNI office now is without its top two intelligence officials. Coats is a politician, having served in the U.S. House and Senate before taking on the DNI job in the Trump administration. However, he stood behind the intelligence professionals who determined without equivocation that Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016 and are doing so yet again in advance of the 2020 presidential election.

Coats butted heads with Donald Trump. He “spoke truth to power.” The man with the power, Trump, isn’t hearing it.

As for Gordon, custom dictated that she would have stepped into the DNI spot as the acting director. She, though, took the advice of intelligence pros and submitted her resignation.

Trump now has Joseph Maguire as acting DNI. He comes from a counterintelligence agency. He could be a solid choice, but he lacks the overarching background that Sue Gordon would have brought to the office … had she chosen to stay on in the Trump administration.

Ladies and gents, we have a leadership vacuum at the top of our nation’s intelligence apparatus. As for the president, he continues to demonstrate utter cluelessness on how he intends to protect us from hostile powers that are threatening the integrity of our very system of government.

Immigration fight has taken a dangerous turn

You can count me as one American who believes the Donald Trump administration has declared war on immigrants who aren’t blond, blue-eyed, fair-skinned, well-to-do, well-educated.

This is a frightening occurrence as this president has ramped up his fight against those who seek to come here from sh**hole countries.

The administration is seeking to implement policies that exclude those who come here in search of a better life. There is a growing discussion that the administration is now targeting Latin Americans, those from Africa, those from certain countries in Europe, those from South Asia.

My goodness. How does one cope with this?

I am not coping well.

All this discussion we’re hearing about that Emma Lazarus poem welcoming the world’s dispossessed, the wretched and the poor “yearning to breathe free” is making me tremble. If this is the direction the president wants to take this country, then we are heading into dangerous territory, indeed.

I keep thinking of that young policy adviser, Stephen Miller, who has had Trump’s ear since the beginning of the administration. Miller is looking more like the architect of this hideous policy. This zealot has said more than once in public that the nation is too generous, too welcoming, too open in its history of welcoming foreigners to our shores. He wants to change it. He wants to slam the door shut. He wants to deny entry to those who want the United States to lend a hand to them as they try to build new lives in the Land of the Free.

Indeed, the president himself has said that “it’s not fair” for American taxpayers to pay for those who come into this country.

What? Does the president want to toss aside the entire ethos on which this country has been built?

We must not become a nation of snobs.

God bless President Truman

I have commented already on this blog about the significance that Aug. 6 has to the country and to me personally.

On that date in 1945, President Harry Truman issued an order that stands the test of time. He ordered a B-29 crew to take off from Tinian Island in the Pacific Ocean. It carried a single bomb.

The plane dropped that bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The A-bomb killed about 70,000 people instantly. Three days later, another bomber would fly over Nagasaki, Japan, and would drop another bomb. It killed 50,000 people.

Five days after that, Japan surrendered. World War II had come to an end.

I long have saluted President Truman for having the courage to act as he did to bring that war to an end.

He became president after Franklin Roosevelt’s death in April 1945. World War II would rage in Europe until May 8. The Nazis surrendered as the Soviet Red Army marched into Berlin. The Japanese would continue the fight into the summer on the other side of planet. Truman knew a tiny bit about some New Mexico project that was developing a new kind of weapon. Then the Joint Chiefs briefed him, telling him, in effect, “Mr. President, we have this bomb that we believe can end this war quickly.”

My father was part of an occupation force in The Philippines that summer. He was preparing to take part in the invasion of Japan, were that operation were to commence. He had already seen plenty of combat in the Mediterranean Theater. Dad told me once he figured that more combat awaited him once the invasion of Japan commenced. He was a Navy boatswain’s mate. His shipboard duty required him to fire a deck gun in anger at enemy aircraft in the Med. More of that kind of duty likely awaited him.

But then the president ordered the dropping of those atomic bombs. The war ended quickly afterward.

I never have questioned for a moment the wisdom of President Truman’s decision or doubted the courage he demonstrated in issuing the order. Hey, I have some “skin in that game” … you know?

I mean, if Dad hadn’t survived, well, I wouldn’t be here today, writing this blog telling you about how grateful I am to have been given life.

I once told a veterans group in Amarillo about my personal connection to the events of Aug. 6 and 9, 1945. I told those vets, “God bless President Truman.”

They clapped and cheered.

I feel just as strongly today as I always have about the president’s decision to end that terrible conflict in the manner that he did.

Immigrants become newest No. 1 ‘villain’

I have just read the screed that someone — allegedly the young man who killed all those folks in El Paso — posted on some anti-immigrant websites.

Whoever wrote it speaks angrily about immigrants. Not “illegal immigrants.” The author talks about all immigrants. That would be anyone who wants to come into this country. Not just those who sneak in under the radar, who break the law because they are fleeing someone or something in their home country.

I believe it likely will be determined that the screed comes from the individual who slaughtered those 20 victims in the El Paso Wal-Mart complex. What, then, do we make of this individual’s motivation? From where does it come?

I’ll pose this question: Does it come from a president of the United States who has referred to nations in Africa and in Latin America as “sh**hole countries”? It was that statement, made reportedly in a private staff meeting at the White House, that revealed Donald Trump’s antipathy to people of certain ethnic and racial origins.

He wasn’t referring to “illegal immigrants” when he blurted out that statement. He was referring to anyone from nations he likened to being covered in fecal matter.

Have we just witnessed the consequence of this heartless rhetoric?

‘Screed’ might lead authorities to massacre motive

Our hearts are broken. Our heads are spinning. Our minds are trying to comprehend this latest spasm of gun violence.

However, some information is starting to leak out and, oh brother, it is frightening on many levels.

Officials are reporting that 20 people were gunned down today at a Wal-Mart complex in El Paso, Texas. Many others were injured; there might be more fatalities to report.

Police have arrested one man. He will be charged with capital murder. I won’t identify him, maintaining my blog policy of keeping the identity of these mass killers out of readers’ eyesight.

What have we learned about this moron? He reportedly posted a screed and distributed it on virulently anti-immigrant websites. Police haven’t yet determined whether the shooter posted the message. Whoever wrote this essay talks angrily about immigrants who are coming into this country and taking jobs away from Americans. It looks to me that the likelihood of a connection between the anti-immigrant message and the young man held in connection with the massacre will be determined.

What in the world does one conclude about such a message and the tragedy that exploded in El Paso?

I’ll draw one obvious conclusion. It is that the shooter, who lives in Allen, a Dallas suburb, was spurred allegedly by intense hatred of immigrants. Hmm. Why do you suppose he was driven to act on that hatred? How can we fail to connect such motivation to the kind of political rhetoric we’ve been hearing over the past two or three years from, oh … let’s see … Donald John Trump.

The screed that’s been discovered is similar to the document that led to the Christchurch, New Zealand massacre at the mosque. There reportedly have been other such essays posted on websites around the world.

If it turns out that the screed and the massacre are linked, then we have a crystal clear message that needs to land in the Oval Office. It is this: Mr. President, you must cease fanning the flames of hatred with your anti-immigrant rhetoric. 

Another bin Laden is wiped out … hooray!

Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden and a reported “heir” to the terror group al-Qaida leadership is dead.

That’s according to U.S. officials who today declined to give any details on bin Laden’s death, or whether the United States played a role in the individual’s demise.

Donald Trump said simply “I don’t want to comment on that” when asked by reporters to comment. That’s OK, Mr. President. No need to speak out just yet.

Hamza bin Laden’s death, if true, marks another milestone in the nation’s ongoing war against terror groups that have declared their mission to be to bring harm to Americans and others around the world.

On May 1, 2011, when U.S. special forces killed Hamza bin Laden’s father in that spectacular raid in Pakistan, President Obama told the world that Osama bin Laden was not a “Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.” His son, Hamza, was cut from the very same blood-stained cloth as his old man.

Now he’s dead. That’s my hope. I also hope that the United States military did kill him. May he rot in hell.

Tepid GOP response to DNI pick might signal an actual break

What in the name of critical thinking is going on here?

Might there be a glimmer of hope that Republican U.S. senators are willing finally — finally! — to break ranks from behind their fellow Republican, the guy in the White House?

Reports are surfacing that Republican response to Donald Trump’s pick to be the next director of national intelligence is, shall we say, a bit tepid. GOP senators reportedly are saddened by the departure of DNI Dan Coats, who once served with them in the U.S. Senate. They have said much about Coats, but hardly anything about U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, who is Trump’s selection as a successor to Coats.

Hmm. Why do you suppose that’s the case?

It might be that the Northeast Texas cheerleader for Trump is packed a bit too snugly into the president’s hip pocket.

I remain committed in the hope that senators who will question Ratcliffe during his confirmation hearing will ask him whether he believes, as Coats does, that Russians attacked our election in 2016 or whether he stands with Donald Trump’s phony assertion that it’s a “hoax.”

I get this sinking, gut-wrenching feeling that Ratcliffe’s fealty to Trump will not allow him to state the plainly obvious, which is that the Russians interfered on behalf of Trump in 2016 and are working hard to do the same thing in 2020. That’s the view of the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Joint Chiefs of Staff … and the Director of National Intelligence. Donald Trump is hearing none of that.

The DNI, who is the nation’s top intelligence official, should be required to tell the president what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear. Donald Trump must hear from the DNI where the existential threats to our national security are coming from. Coats and other intelligence experts told the nation that Russia presented that threat in 2016 and are doing so now.

Will the new DNI, if it’s John Ratcliffe, be willing to offer the same hard-boiled advice?

My gut tells me that Donald Trump won’t hear it even if the DNI offers it, which is why he might be looking for a blind loyalist to fill a job that requires clear-headed analysis on threats to our nation.