France

Disturbing Right Wing Trend In International Affairs, Mirroring Donald Trump!

As the threat of Donald Trump continues to be a menace, we are seeing in international affairs a troubling and disturbing trend of right wing populism, mirroring his extremism.

Already, this has been evident in Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Italy, and now The Netherlands, along with Egypt, India, Myanmar, and now Argentina, and dangers of right wing extremism threatening to rise in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.

Religion, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist is a growing factor in these nations.

It seems as if the world is moving back into the Fascism movement that was so prominent in the 1930s and 1940s.

Away For Two Weeks, And The World Changes, Not For The Better! :(

Having just returned from my vacation with my older son after watching nine baseball games at eight baseball stadiums from Washington DC to Chicago, it is clear while I have been away that the nation and the world have changed, and not for the better.

Russia under Vladimir Putin is in turmoil after a challenge to the government by a militia group, creating more international instability. And demonstrations in France have gone large after the killing of an Algerian Arab French citizen by police, making clear that racism is alive and well in not just the United States but world wide!

And then, domestically, the Supreme Court has shown once again just how extreme they are, and presenting a constitutional crisis, as the Bush I and II appointees, along with the Trump appointees, have declared war on precedent and progress, trying to bring America back to the 18th century “originalism”, which many scholars make clear is totally preposterous!

The majority Court Justices have been shown to have massive financial and ideological conflicts of interest with no means for accountability, and with Chief Justice John Roberts losing all of whatever reasonable reputation he has had over the years, with his refusal to testify on ethics violations by himself and the other Republican Justices, particularly, but not only, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

Between the attack on abortion rights a year ago, and now the end of affirmative action; the denial of student college debt relief; and allowing religion to interfere with the basic human rights of gays and transgenders, and arguably, other groups that any person in any business or industry could decide to refuse to interact with in daily life, is clearly the most dangerous time in constitutional history since the Civil War!

78th Anniversary Of D Day Normandy Invasion In World War II!

Today is the 78th Anniversary of the D Day Normandy Invasion of France in World War II, a turning point in the struggle against Nazi Germany!

The number of veterans who live on after this momentous event is very small, as one would have to be in the mid 90s or higher to have been part of that battle and still survive today!

We must never forget the sacrifices of the veterans who survived, but even more of those who gave their last effort for the American nation and the civilized world!

The striving for democracy, which was fought in 1944, continues today as we face the threat of Fascism and Donald Trump, and the future of American politics in the Midterm Elections of 2022 and the Presidential Election of 2024!

A Turning Point In International Relations: The French Presidential Election Today

Today’s French Presidential election pits Emmanuel Macron, who has been President for the past five years, against Far Right candidate Marine Le Pen, who is closely associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It seems clear that this is a turning point in international relations, as Le Pen would be likely to support Putin, and even, likely, take France out of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), fatally weakening that defense alliance, and affecting US foreign policy.

The Russia-Ukraine War and what NATO and the United States do about it, is hanging in the balance.

And if Le Pen won, it could be a sign of the danger of Donald Trump or someone of his stripe being a major challenge to Joe Biden or whoever the Democrats would run for President in 2024, along with the possible effect on the Midterm Congressional and Gubernatorial elections of 2022.

Emmanuel Macron is not perfect, but no one is, but we all need to hold our breath and hope he wins for the future of international relations and US foreign policy!

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 And Disposal Of Human Rights, The Goal Of Jimmy Carter Four Decades Ago

In the late 1970s, President Jimmy Carter enunciated his belief in human rights, and pursued a policy of denunciation of those nations which denied human rights to their citizens.

Now, four decades later, President Donald Trump has totally reversed such a policy, and has embraced leaders of nations which massively violate human rights.

So we see Trump embracing Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation ; Kim Jong Un of North Korea; Xi Jinping of China; Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia; Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt; Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey; Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines; Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil; Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Poland; Viktor Orban of Hungary; and other authoritarians who deny basic civil rights and civil liberties to their citizens, and persecute minorities and immigrants in their midst, and threaten journalists, extremely alarming and disturbing.

At the same time, Trump attacks and is critical of the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Canada and the other nations in NATO, and it is clear that he is enamored with dictators over democratic leaders.

In so doing, Trump is undermining the concept of liberal democracy, and destroying American constitutional principles, damaging the image of America, and destabilizing international affairs.

Back From Wonderful Vacation In London And Paris With My Older Son, And Ready To Resume Regular Commentary On American Politics, Government, And History

I am happy to announce that I have returned from a wonderful vacation in London and Paris with my older son, and am ready to resume regular commentary on American Politics, Government, and History.

I had never traveled overseas since my younger son was Bar Mitzvahed in 1996 in Israel, but my older son has done a lot of travel in Europe, some for work purposes, and also for vacations. He wanted to treat me to an all expenses paid trip to my two favorite European nations, the United Kingdom and France, to honor me for Fathers Day, and for his 40th birthday, with him being born on that day in 1979.

We saw all of the historic and cultural sites I had always wanted to visit, and it enriched my historical and cultural knowledge, and increased the bonding I have for my older son, but with equal feelings for my younger son as well. This was a trip of just the two of us, since we had not spent much time together over the past decade since he moved to the Washington DC area, and myself continuing to reside in South Florida.

I was totally out of touch for the two weeks in regards to the news, and only now am catching up on the events, including the danger of war with Iran; the resignation of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders; the threat to have mass deportation of undocumented immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the usual maniacal behavior and utterances of Donald Trump; and the preparations for the first Democratic Presidential debates in Miami this coming Wednesday and Thursday, June 26-27, with Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg not having the best fortune in this past week, and Elizabeth Warren seemingly surging for now, while others are hoping for a breakthrough as a result of these two nights of debates.

I plan to comment daily on those events and trends that seem worthy of the most attention, and I am glad to invite my readers to return to a daily interaction, although while visiting Washington DC in two weeks from now for tourism and family, it is possible I might miss a day or two as a result.

Thanks, everyone, for your patience, as I took the most wonderful and enriching trip imaginable in the past two weeks.

Christopher Wray, Gina Haspel, Michael Rogers And Dan Coats, Heads Of Intelligence Agencies, Strongly Disagree With Donald Trump On Major National Security Threats

The heads of the national intelligence agencies testified in open session before Congressional committees on Tuesday, and warned of the dangers to national security that exist in an unsafe world.

Christopher Wray, head of the FBI; Gina Haspel, head of the CIA; Michael Rogers, head of the NSA; and Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, warned that America faced great threats from Russia, China, North Korea, ISIS, and Iran, making clear that they did not agree with President Donald Trump, who has undermined all intelligence, and says none of these nations and forces, except for Iran, are a threat.

Ironically, the three Intelligence heads said Iran is actually keeping the nuclear agreement that Donald Trump has given up, despite the support of the Western democratic nations–Great Britain, France, and Germany–for continuation of that agreement.

The “love affair” of Trump for Kim Jong Un; the trust and secret meetings that Trump has had with Vladimir Putin; the rocky relationship between the US and China; and the attitude that ISIS is no longer a threat in the Middle East, are alarming, and yet all Trump says in response to the intelligence conclusions is to say that these people need to go back to school.

It is Trump who is truly dangerous and too trusting of authoritarian nations, when he has no experience, no background, no knowledge on international relations, and is causing undue threats to the future of American foreign policy as a result.

Instead, Trump sees the Border Wall issue with Mexico as more of a national security threat, when none of the intelligence agencies see any threat on the Southern border, and dismiss the whole issue of the Border Wall as unnecessary.

We have a President who is truly warped in his views, dangerous to the nation, and could be leading us down a road toward true disaster, which could be far worse than September 11.

And we have to wonder why he engages in secret diplomacy without translators or note takers in meetings, many unreported, with Putin, and it all makes one think of the film from 1962, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE.

We cannot afford to have such an uneducated and morally and ethically challenged President as Donald Trump in authority much longer, without a disastrous effect on America and its future.

Even Mike Pence, with all of his horrible social views on many issues, cannot be imagined to be likely to follow the same foreign policy as Trump, were he to succeed to the Presidency. We are at a point where he may be the only likely alternative, but better for American national security and safety than Donald Trump.

Donald Trump Taking America On Road Of Total Diplomatic, Economic, Constitutional, and Environmental Disasters By His Egotistical Child Like Behavior: Time For Action Now!

As 2018 comes to an end in a few days, it is perfectly clear that President Donald Trump is taking America on the road of total diplomatic and economic disasters by his egotistical child like behavior.

Trump is endangering our friendship and alliance with such nations as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Israel by his reckless courting of the leaders of Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, his worship of their authoritarian leaders.

His lack of realism in American foreign policy is emboldening North Korea to continue to develop nuclear weapons; for Russia to develop new nuclear weapons as well; for Saudi Arabia and Turkey to wield power in the Middle East that endangers Israel’s security; and for the relationship with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to become the worst in a century.

His economic policies are leading us toward a Great Depression, and the destruction of our agricultural economy through the imposition of protectionist tariffs, which never benefit workers or consumers.

His authoritarian bent endangers the rule of law and obedience to the Constitution, and his failure to accept the environmental realities of global warming endanger the nation and the entire planet.

His lack of civility undermines what all parents should teach their children, to be respectful and tolerant toward the opposite gender, as well as people of all religions and nationalities.

The President is the worst role model imaginable, and the corruption and scandals surrounding his administration will soon be investigated in detail by the Democratic Party, and accountability will finally occur.

Donald Trump Has Gone Bonkers By His Action To Withdraw US Forces Fighting ISIS In Syria

The absolutely worst moments of Donald Trump’s Presidency are upon us.

Trump, totally ignorant and clueless on American foreign policy, has ordered the complete, rapid withdrawal of all US forces from Syria, at a time when ISIS is still a threat, and many enemies gain by our withdrawal.

Russia, Iran, Turkey, the murderous regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and the terrorist group Hezbollah all gain.

The NATO allies–Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada and the rest–, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Kurdish allies who are anti Turkish and anti Assad, all are major losers.

Total disarray and gains for authoritarian governments is the result, and we will rue the day that we decided to leave the fight against ISIS, which is not yet totally defeated.

This is all part of a clear plan by Trump to help his friend Vladimir Putin, and Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and ironically, the major enemy of Israel and Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Our President is clearly a menace, and many Republicans, including Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Jeff Flake of Nebraska, are coming out of the woodwork to express their disgust and disdain of what the President is doing.

This is the time for James Mattis, Secretary of Defense; Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State; and John Bolton, National Security Adviser, all of whom were strong supporters of remaining in Syria, to announce their mass resignation, and call for Donald Trump to resign.

As I finish this essay, Mattis has announced his resignation, making ever more dangerous the reality that there are no real “adults'” advising Trump on military policy.

Meanwhile, the stock market has been in free fall, and it looks as if the government will be shut down over Christmas, due to the insistence of Donald Trump that there be a 2,000 mile built across our boundary with Mexico, an insane and wasteful idea that will not guarantee security.

It is time for Vice President Mike Pence to speak out against the President, and show some guts and courage to speak his mind.