Taiwan

Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy Challenges In Year Two Of His Presidency

In addition to the uncertainty and tensions domestically, surrounding the danger of Donald Trump and the Republicans striving to end American democracy, Joe Biden faces massive foreign policy challenges in year two of his Presidency.

The Russian Federation and Vladamir Putin seem poised to invade Ukraine, with NATO and the US determined to punish Russia with harsh economic sanctions if that horrible event occurs.

China seems poised to invade Taiwan at some point, with the US stating it would come to the defense of that island, without being specific, but with the reality that a direct military intervention seems unlikely or manageable.

Iran seems resistant to resuming the 2015 nuclear agreement that Donald Trump destroyed during his Presidency, and there is the danger of a Iran-Israel War on the horizon.

North Korea and Kim Jong Un continue to test nuclear weapons, and therefore, represent a clear and present danger to US interests and neighboring nations in Asia.

Other nations have become more autocratic, including Hungary, Poland, Turkey, and Egypt in recent years, and democracy seems clearly to be on the defensive.

How much America can have an impact on these “hot spots” is hard to imagine, but that is not saying that Donald Trump or any other potential President would have any more fortune in world affairs!

The United States Has Become A “Flawed Democracy”!

Americans want to believe that their nation is a paragon of “democracy”, but by estimates of many experts who watch how governments change in their level of democracy, the United States has become a “flawed democracy”.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research division of the publication THE ECONOMIST, has rated the nations of the world as “Full Democracies”, “Flawed Democracies”, “Hybrid Regimes”, and “Authoritarian Regimes”.

The United States is in the “Flawed Democracies” category as Number 25, second on the “Flawed Democracies” list behind France, which also has fallen out of the “Full Democracies” listing!

23 Nations are “Full Democracies”, led by Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada. Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Australia and The Netherlands are the next five, with the latter two actually tied for 9th!

Other major nations in the “Full Democracies” list include, among others, Taiwan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, and South Korea.

Inspiring is the fact that Taiwan, Chile, and South Korea have become democracies in recent decades, but sadly so many more nations have moved away from democracy, and the fact that the US and France are put at the top of “Flawed Democracies” is troubling! And Israel and Italy are 5 and 6 as “Flawed Democracies”. And Mexico is way down, near the bottom of 52 nations that are “Flawed Democracies”.

“Hybrid Regimes” are the next 35 nations, and “Authoritarian Regimes” were 57 in number, with the total of nations on the list being 167.

Donald Trump Undermines Democracy In Ukraine, South Korea, Middle East, Hong Kong And Elsewhere In Favor Of Russia, North Korea, Turkey, China And Other Authoritarian Governments

It is now very clear that Donald Trump acts like an authoritarian leader, and is working to undermine democracy and the rule of law everywhere he can, outside the United States.

Trump cozies up to dictators in Russia, China, North Korea, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, the Philippines, Hungary, Poland, and innumerable other nations, as all he cares about is MONEY and profit and his own aggrandizement of power.

In so doing, Trump endangers Ukraine, the entire Middle East, Hong Kong and Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, the Kurds, and our NATO allies, but he has no conscience or concern about human rights or freedom.

The authoritarian nations are marching forward with the endorsement and support of Donald Trump!

Trump Aiding Russia And China In Suppression Of Ukraine And Hong Kong: A Complete Reversal Of Foreign Policy Of Cold War Years

The nation is in the midst of a totally unbelievable situation, with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Attorney General William Barr involved deeply in a conspiracy to collaborate with Russia and China, two nations that have been historically rivals in the years since World War II, with both being Communist nations.

Russia may be, technically, no longer Communist, but in actuality, Vladimir Putin was part of the old Soviet Union secret police before 1991, and China has been a Communist nation since 1949.

So now Trump and his cronies are trying to force Ukraine to help in collusion on trying to destroy former Vice President Joe Biden for the 2020 election, and basically, telling Ukraine’s leader that if he is to get military support against Russia, he must come up with “dirt” on Biden. The implication is that Ukraine is endangered, and that Russia, which took away part of that nation in 2014 will have a free hand if Ukraine does not come up with what Trump wants from them.

And now Trump has asked China to help do damage to Joe Biden, with the implication that the United States would stand by and allow China to suppress Hong Kong, and in the future, who can say that Taiwan would not also be threatened by China with no American response?

So in order to win the 2020 election, Trump wants collusion by Ukraine and China, similar to what he had with Russia in 2016, and he is not telling Russia not to collude again, and Putin is now joking about it openly!

And if Ukraine is seized by Russia, and if Hong Kong, and maybe in the future, Taiwan, are seized and end the concept of human rights, so be it in Donald Trump’s unstable brain, as he has abandoned all principle on the significance of basic human freedoms, and historic Republican opposition to Communism in the two biggest nations that have been seen as threats.

Here is a man who keeps on saying he has no intentions on leaving power at any point, so he represent a threat to basic human rights in America, let alone in Ukraine and Hong Kong and maybe Taiwan!

If that is not an impeachable act in itself, then what is impeachable?

Donald Trump’s Love Affair With Authoritarian Leaders In Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, China And Rejection Of Democratic Allies

One of the most mystifying aspects of the Trump Presidency is his absolute love affair, his “bromance”, not only with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, but also with the authoritarian leaders of Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, and China.

Russia is a growing threat to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland, along with Ukraine, and one wonder what Trump would do if Putin decided to invade those nations.

Turkey’s leader promoted violence against demonstrators at the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC, and Trump has nary a comment to make.

Egypt’s leader has established a hard line dictatorship, after a brief period of an “Arab Spring” four to six years ago.

Saudi Arabia is the most despicable country when it comes to human rights, including involving women, and there are no free elections.

The Philippines leader has caused the mass murder of thousands of suspected drug dealers and users, but many of them totally innocent, and Trump applauds him.

China clearly is not a democracy, and while we must work with them on North Korea’s threat, Trump has become a cozy “friend” of its government, ignoring their violations of human rights, and their assertions of rights to the waterways off of Taiwan and Japan and South Korea.

Trump embraces human rights violators and threats to world stability, while being rude and disrespectful to the leaders of our major allied nations—Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany,Italy and Japan, as well as Australia and Mexico.

What is going on in the head of Donald Trump?

Why does he seem to worship authoritarianism and show contempt for democratic nations?

In so doing, Donald Trump is creating an unstable world, which the United States will pay for in blood and tears, in the long run, even after Donald Trump is finally out of office!

Diplomatic Crises Arising: Praise For Pakistan And Taiwan By Donald Trump Creates Problems With India And China!

Donald Trump is proving how much of a total neophyte he is in diplomacy, having had ZERO experience and knowledge of international relations.

To go ahead and communicate in positive terms with Pakistan’s government, with which the US government has many issues, is extremely damaging, and can undermine the relationship with India.

To go ahead and be so cordial and warm with Taiwan’s new government, when China sees Taiwan as a rebel province, is equally damaging, as NO American President from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama has ever, officially, dealt with Taiwan since the United States recognized mainland China’s government in 1979.

At this rate, Trump will undermine all of America’s foreign policy, cause misunderstandings and anger to rise, and we will end up in diplomatic crises and potential war, when all this could have been avoided, but Trump is a total ignoramus, who endangers any chance of a stable world, or a unified plan with other nations to fight Islamic terorrism.

The feeling is developing that Donald Trump is going to cause such chaos and anarchy in foreign policy, that his remaining in power has to be seriously compromised, as he could cause more damage than any President in modern American history, way more than George W. Bush, Richard Nixon, or Lyndon B. Johnson were able to do in their times in office.

A Woman As German Chancellor; A Woman As British Prime Minister; A Woman As President Of The United States; Why Not?

The world is reaching a moment to celebrate!

We have had a woman as German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, since November 2005.

We will now have a woman as British Prime Minister, Theresa May, in two days.

And in November, four months from now, we are very likely to have a woman President elected, Hillary Clinton.

And why not?

It is long overdue that this has happened!

We have seen several nations in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) and two in Europe (Norway, Poland), and two in Asia (South Korea, Taiwan) with female leaders, along with past woman leaders in India, Pakistan, Israel, and Great Britain, among others.

It is time to put women into power, as so many men have done so much damage over time, and there is no special talent to govern held by men, so this development is wonderful and laudatory!

Presidents And Difficult Diplomacy: TR, FDR, Truman, JFK, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Obama

Presidents have to deal with recalcitrant nations in diplomacy, including nations that are our adversaries.

The key is to promote agreements, with the ability to verify and hold nations accountable, under international agreement. It is not an issue of trust, as many nations see other nations as rivals, but rather the ability to come to agreements with the understanding that violations can lead to a confrontational situation if they are not kept.

Presidents have regularly taken bold steps in diplomacy with other nations, whereby they suffered from strong criticism as being naive and weak, but history tells us they actually demonstrated courage and principle, that international agreements could be upheld if both sides wish to avoid military confrontation.

So we have President Theodore Roosevelt negotiating agreements with a newly ambitious Japan after the Russo-Japanese War.

So we have President Franklin D. Roosevelt deciding to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union after 16 years of non recognition.

So we have President Harry Truman deciding to recognize Israel, and in so doing, alienating Arab nations in the Middle East.

So we have President John F. Kennedy agreeing to the Nuclear Best Ban Treaty in 1963 with the Soviet Union, and it is still in effect today. This came after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which many believed the result would not be obeyed by the Soviet Union, but they did precisely what was required under the settlement.

So we have President Richard Nixon, who made arms limitation agreements (SALT I) with the Soviet Union, and opened the door to contacts with the People’s Republic of China, both moves that are now hailed, although criticized at the time.

SO we have President Jimmy Carter accomplishing something no one would have believed, an agreement between Israel and Egypt, and mutual recognition, in what became known as the Camp David Accords. Additionally, Carter decided to recognize the Communist government in China as being China, rather than Taiwan.

So we have President Ronald Reagan, after calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire”, negotiate arms agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev.

So we have President Bill Clinton bringing about peace between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, an event that seemed impossible of achievement, known as the Good Friday Agreements of 1998. He also established diplomatic relations with Vietnam, a generation after the end of the divisive war in Vietnam was lost.

So now we have President Barack Obama negotiating an agreement to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons, with five other nations engaged in the process, and to prevent war, while guaranteeing the security of Israel and Arab nations. Like all the others, it is a gamble, as no one can be sure of Iran’s ultimate actions, but it has worked out in all of the other cases. He also has established diplomatic relations with the government of Fidel and Raul Castro in Cuba.

And yet, nothing is a panacea, as Russia and China still present a challenge, but progress was made to avoid war, and that is happening again now, with the understanding that if the agreement is broken, war is always an ultimate alternative!

Presidents And Dictatorships: Double Standard Of Critics Of Obama Change Of Cuban Policy

Presidents of the United States deal with reality, not what they might wish was so.

America has had diplomatic relations with all sorts of terrible people who govern the world’s nations over time.

Latin American dictatorships, including those of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba; Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic; the Duvalier dynasty, father and son, in Haiti; Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua; and military dictatorships in all of the South American nations at different times, have been accepted by American Presidents.

Our Presidents have dealt with Asian dictatorships, including China beginning with Richard Nixon; and with Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, South Korea for decades, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the former Soviet Republics, now independent, but almost all of them dictatorships.

We have dealt with the Arab nations of the Middle East and with Iran under the Shah, despite their harsh dictatorships.

We have had dealings with African dictatorships of all stripes, including South Africa under Apartheid; and the brutal governments of much of the continent.

Somehow, Cuba has been seen differently, when the governments of many of the world’s nations has been far worse in their oppression than Fidel and Raul Castro.

This is not saying that Fidel and Raul Castro cannot, rightfully, be condemned for their human rights violations, but if human rights was the guide, we would not have any diplomatic relations or trade with 80 percent of the world!

When Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and the two Presidents Bush have embraced, and even endorsed, dictators, it was always seen as no big deal, but when Barack Obama opens up to Cuba after 54 years, it is perceived as a crime of massive proportions, while we willingly accepted the previous harsh dictatorship in Cuba of Batista and his henchmen!

Hypocrisy anyone?

Richard Nixon (China) And Barack Obama (Iran): Why Not Try Diplomacy Before War?

Forty years ago, Richard Nixon, a Republican President, took a bold step and went to visit and negotiate with the government of the People’s Republic Of China, better known in America as Communist China or Red China.

We had had no negotiations or dealings with mainland China since 1949, had made a career of demonizing the leadership of that nation, and had made clear that we would defend the island of Taiwan (Nationalist China) at all costs. We had also fought Chinese troops in the Korean War, and had known of Chinese support of the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War, and were still bombing near the Chinese border.

But with all that, Richard Nixon went to China, negotiated trade and travel and cultural exchanges, and opened up our country and China to the promotion of less fear and more diplomacy and understanding in the interests of international harmony and avoidance of war.

Many conservatives bitterly condemned Nixon for going to China, and reversing his own anti Communist stand of twenty five years standing. But Nixon went anyway, and this occurred in an election year. It was statesmanlike and showed Nixon to be a pragmatic man in foreign policy.

Today, in 2012, forty years later, we are on the brink of possible military conflict with Iran, with which we have not had real dealings since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the fall of the Shah of Iran from power. Iran has become a very belligerent state, heavy on rhetoric and threats, similar to what China was for 25 years. In the case of Iran, it is now 33 years since the two nations, in the midst of tensions and stress, have sat down and tried to negotiate differences.

It may seem as if there is very little hope for a breakthrough with a harsh enemy who wishes us ill, but remember that was the same mentality toward China, and even more so, toward the Soviet Union, during the Cold War years, but still Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and even Reagan all agreed to joint meetings, often in each other’s country, and made progress toward coexistence, and to avoid a direct confrontation that would benefit neither side.

So when the Republican candidates for President, conservative talk show hosts, and many others call for war on Iran, and think the idea of negotiations with Iran are fruitless, remember what Richard Nixon, the ultimate anti Communist did forty years ago this week. He went to the enemy and NEGOTIATED, and prevented any conflict with China, a dramatic and significant moment in world history!

It is time for Barack Obama to show courage and statesmanship, and since the Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he is ready for diplomatic talks, it is wise to take him up on it, and see if it can go anywhere. If it does not, and war results, at least we will be able to hold our heads high and say we TRIED! Is Ahmadinejad really any worse than Mao Tse Tung, Nikita Khrushchev Leonid Brezhnev, or Mikhail Gorbachev?

It is not cowardly to agree to talk and negotiate; it is cowardly to refuse to talk and negotiate, with the possibility of avoiding war that neither the United States citizens or Iranian citizens really want. And it would be better for Israel too, if war could be avoided which would likely have a very heavy toll on their citizens, in a country so small in population, it cannot afford to lose even one hundred people in an unnecessary war that MIGHT be avoidable!