Tag Archives: G-7

Do we stay engaged or do we withdraw?

The United States has pulled out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council.

Donald J. Trump doesn’t like the council’s bias against Israel, nor does he like the human rights records of many of the nations that are members of the council.

The president’s response? He decided to withdraw. He’ll let the Human Rights Council do whatever it does without direct U.S. involvement.

That’s no way to lead, Mr. President. Hey, it’s a form of “leading from behind,” which is what Trump so often accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of doing.

My own preference would be for the United States to stay engaged in the Human Rights Council, exerting pressure on the U.N. body to cease its bias against Israel and to remind many of its members that they have little moral standing to talk about human rights abuses.

I refer to nations such as Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Venezuela, and Cuba as members of the HRC. I get that those nations all have hideous human rights records.

Why does the president want to withdraw from yet another world body? He’s backed out of the Paris climate accord, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, threatened to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement.

He recently refused to sign the joint communique of the G-7 economic powers that met in Quebec. What’s more, Trump has threatened to launch a worldwide trade war with our most reliable trading partners and allies.

This is how you “make America great”? This is how you “put America first”?

Nope. It’s a prescription for isolating the world’s most indispensable nation from the world community. The Human Rights Council needs improvement, to be sure.

The more constructive posture would be to have our voices heard — at the table.

Obama didn’t ‘allow’ annexation of Crimea

This won’t surprise regular readers of this blog, but I agree with former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice’s assertion that Donald Trump has taken an outrageous position with regard to Russia and its former membership in the Group of Eight nations.

Trump wants the now G-7 nations to bring Russia back into its fold. Susan Rice said the following, according to The Hill: Rice said Trump made “a disgraceful statement” when he said Obama “allowed Russia to take Crimea.”

“Rather than understand Russia is our adversary, Russia had taken on behavior that is absolutely reprehensible… for the president of the United States to suggest all that is forgotten, that we are together, that we are fine with one country annexing another country’s sovereign territory is outrageous,” Rice said.

Russia took another nation’s territory by force. It has done not a damn thing to rectify its aggression against Ukraine. It has continued to prop up a dictatorial regime in Syria. Oh, and it meddled in our 2016 election.

Rice is suggesting that Trump is divorced from any semblance of reality by asking for Russia’s re-inclusion into the G-7 nations comprising the world’s greatest economic powers.

The president’s desire to bring Russia back after the nations kicked it out after annexing Crimea has been met with almost unanimous scorn by the rest of the G-7; only Italy has backed the president’s request.

Moreover, Trump’s continual harping on actions taken by his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, seem to suggest some sort of sick fixation with the 44th president. He keeps singling him out specifically, making preposterous assertions that he “allowed” Russia to take Crimea. It begs the question: What would Donald Trump had done if he had been in the Oval Office, making the tough call? Does anyone actually believe he would have put “boots on the ground” to prevent a Russian takeover? Give me a break, man!

I have stayed away from asserting in this blog that Russia might have the goods on Trump, that it might be holding some deep, dark secrets about the president’s business dealings in Russia.

These continuing assertions from Trump that all is forgiven with regard to Russia are making me wonder about those reports about Russia and possible business connections with the Trump Organization.

Disgraceful.

It keeps getting ‘better’ post-G-7 meeting

Wow! That’s about all that is left to say about Donald J. Trump’s showmanship at the G-7 summit in Quebec, Canada.

He bolted the meeting early to fly aboard Air Force One for Singapore. The rest of the G-7 nations issue a joint communique, only to have the president of the United States instruct his staff to keep his signature off the document.

He then accuses Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of uttering “falsehoods,” and of being “meek and mild” during the summit.

Here we go, ladies and gents. The nations that share the world’s longest unsecured common border are on the verge of a full-scale trade war. Trump went to the G-7 with a “bigly” chip on his shoulder. He offered stern warnings to our trading partners, threatening them with even more tariffs.

He put this out via Twitter: PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!

Trump accused Trudeau of changing his tune after the president left the G-7 summit for his expected meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Trudeau’s office responded, saying that the prime minister spoke consistently in public and in private with the president.

Alliances? Friendships? Who needs ’em?

So help me, we are being represented abroad by a buffoon in chief.

G-7 meeting ends with anger, outrage

That went well, don’t you think?

Don’t answer that. You know how it went. Donald Trump showed up at the G-7 meeting of economic powerhouse nations in Quebec and proceeded to p** off our nation’s most ardent allies and trading partners.

Then he jetted off to Singapore in advance of his summit with North Korean goofball/dictator Kim Jong Un.

What do you suppose the president is thinking by launching into his tirades against our allies? No need to answer that one, either. I don’t believe the “thinks” anything. He fires from the hip. He relies on “instinct” and “attitude.”

My favorite part of his departure was when he said if our trading partners don’t do what he wants — which is give in to our demands for high tariffs — then he’s going to punish them by refusing to do business with them.

Yep. The president of the nation that possesses the world’s strongest economy is threatening extreme economic punishment on our friends, the nations with which we are allied.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau now is threatening direct retaliation for the tariffs Trump has imposed on steel and aluminum produced in Canada.

I feel all warm and fuzzy. Don’t you?

Oh, and then he tells them that Russia — the nation that swallowed up Crimea and went to war with Ukraine, all before meddling in our 2016 election — deserves a place at the table. He wants the G-7 to become the G-8 again.

This is how you “make America great again,” how you engender “respect” among the rest of the industrialized world?

I do not believe it’s working, Mr. President.

Trump showing ’em R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

Donald Trump’s feel-good campaign has hit a few walls along the way.

He’s gone to Quebec to take part in the G-7 summit of the world’s leading economic powers and has managed to tick off all of our allies. These are the real friends with whom this country formerly enjoyed a long-standing relationship through thick and thin, good times and bad, war and peace.

Yep, he’s now imposing steep trade tariffs, which might precipitate a trade war with, say, Canada and the European Union. China is there, too. Our relationship with the People’s Republic of China has been up and down since the communists took control in 1949, but at the moment it’s supposed to be in good shape — except that we might launch a trade war with them, too.

And, yes, we once fought a war with Japan and Germany. But since that terrible time, they have stood shoulder to shoulder with us.

He has said he might tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement, even though Mexico — the third nation involved with NAFTA — isn’t represented at the G-7.

In the midst of all this, Trump is trying to make nice with Russia, as if he hasn’t made his preferences known already about Vladimir Putin’s government already around the world.

He wants Russia to come back into the circle of nations that used to be known as the G-8. That was until the organization booted the Russians out because they invaded Crimea and backed pro-Moscow forces rebelling against the government in Ukraine.

And while Trump excoriates Canada for posing a “national security threat” to the United States because of trade practices, he ignores the real threat that Russia has demonstrated by interfering in our 2016 election. Moreover, the Russians likely are going to do it again in 2018.

This is how you earn “respect” around the world, Mr. President?

No. It isn’t. It’s how you make a mockery of the role you assumed when you took the oath of office as president of the United States.

They aren’t respecting us in these world capitals. So help me, they are mocking us.

Bring the Russians back to the table?

Let me try to keep this straight.

Donald Trump wants Russia returned to the economic group comprising the world’s leading economic powers. The Russians were kicked out of what was known as the G-8 because it annexed Crimea and launched military action against Ukraine; they have done not a damn thing to remove themselves from that conflict.

Meanwhile, the president chastises our actual allies and trading partners because they object to the punishing tariffs he has imposed on steel and aluminum they export to the United States.

What am I failing to grasp?

Trump’s pique against Canada is particularly galling. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau objects to Trump’s description of Canada as a “national security risk,” pointing out how Canadians died alongside Americans on the beaches in Normandy during World War II and how the nations have been the closest of allies for many decades.

Trump says Trudeau is being “indignant.”

Good grief!

Now he wants the Russians back in.

According to The Hill: “Whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run,” Trump said. “And in the G-7, which used be the G-8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.” 

Oh, and then we have the Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election. Right there is a legitimate, tangible, identifiable, demonstrable risk to our national security.

So help me, the man elected as president of the United States himself is a frightening risk to our national security and sovereignty.

POTUS has weird view of ‘respect’

Donald John Trump keeps telling us how the United States is now “respected” around the world.

Let me think. Is that what the finance ministers of the six other industrialized nations said when they commented on the president’s absurd trade policies? That they really “respect” the United States now that Trump has imposed harsh tariffs on imported goods?

Um, I don’t believe that’s the case.

As the Wall Street Journal reports: The ministers of the six non-U.S. members of the Group of Seven industrialized nations—the host Canada, along with France, Germany, the U.K., Italy and Japan—on Saturday issued a joint statement excluding the U.S., and conveying their “unanimous concern and disappointment” with the U.S. decision last week to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Respect, eh? Is that what we are getting these days?

Trump’s penchant for protectionism does not breed respect at any level among the other industrialized nations. Indeed, what is laughable on its face is how the president considers U.S.-Canada trade policies as presenting a “national security threat” to the United States. National security threat? Is he kidding?

I believe a serious “national security threat” exists with Russians meddling in our electoral process, which is what happened in 2016 and which well might occur again this year!

Where is the outrage at that threat, Mr.

President?

Instead, Trump decided to vent his anger at a nation whose sons have fought and died alongside our warriors for most of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Shameful.