Recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel has questioned whether America is still a reliable ally because of the Trump administration’s stance on global warming and free trade. Merkel contends that Trump’s failure to immediately accept the Paris Climate Agreement that the Obama administration negotiated along with Trump daring to point out the world leading trade surplus the German’s enjoy at the expense of the rest of the world are cause enough to question American reliability.
American hesitancy to endorse European led Climate agreements are nothing new. In fact it is par for the course that the Europeans are way out in front of all other nations in trying to regulate climate change prevention policies. US reluctance is also the norm, case in point, the US never voted on the forerunner to the Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocols, because the Clinton administration did not want to suffer the embarrassment of a lopsided vote against it in the senate. It was such a crushing defeat that this latest European initiative was specifically designed to bypass the American Senate. Using a familiar tactic in the European Union of bypassing national legislative bodies (in other words bypassing democracy) the Paris Agreement was labeled an “executive agreement” and not a treaty so as not to require a vote in the US Senate. This in spite of the fact that the agreement will act similarly to a treaty.
Germany should be hesitant of questioning American reliability because as noted above when dealing with climate change initiatives the US has been reliably skeptic on the issue for decades. To act as if this is something new is absurd. Trump should also point out that Germany is the country that has been unreliable in living up to its treaty obligations with regards to defense spending and NATO. In fact, one could easily argue that Russian aggression in Europe is a direct result of the embarrassing European wide military disarmament that has gone on for years now. To be blunt it is German unreliability on national security issues and German selfishness with their obscene trade surplus with the rest of the world that is the problem.
While his administration has struggled with repealing Obamacare and fumbled with travel bans they are having a major impact in reigning in illegal immigration. The LA Times has reported that since Trump has taken office illegal crossings are down an impressive 40%. This is notable since Trump has yet to even break ground on his wall. Oddly enough, it seems that when you actually enforce the laws currently on the books and let illegals know they are not welcome that it actually does deter people from coming. What a novel idea! However, the biggest news out of this is that it illuminates how utterly incompetent all the previous administrations have been since Eisenhower. This is especially true of Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama. All of whom failed miserably to secure the southern border in the modern era. I would argue that because of this failure all three former presidents should be publicly censured by congress, have their retirement pay forfeited to pay for Trump’s wall, and have their presidential libraries closed as punishment for letting us be overrun.
The Ukrainian crisis has the potential to become a major embarrassment for Obama and the US. Here is why.
1. Russia is not nearly as weak as it was in the 1990’s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Oil money has buffered Moscow and strengthened Putin’s grip on power.
2. America is not nearly as strong as it was in the 1990’s. The debacle in Iraq and the economic meltdown have damaged America’s standing in the world and its ability to act. Add to this the recent Obama administration’s drastic military cuts and it makes it clear that America should not be feared.
3. This is in Russia’s backyard and they deem the Crimea (which has a heavily Russian population) as Russian territory even though technically it is a part of the Ukraine.
4. The Ukrainian president that was just forced from office was elected democratically to office although I am sure that it was corrupt. This, along with the fact that the Crimea is heavily Russian provides Putin with the justification to intervene militarily.
5. The West encouraged the demonstrators in the Ukraine but nobody should be fooled here. There is no chance of the US or Europe putting boots on the ground to protect the Ukraine.
6. The only thing the US and the West can do is talk tough and hope the Russians don’t call their bluff. Putin knows this and he will call the bluff humiliating Obama and America by default.
7. Obama’s much hyped “Russian reset” has been a total failure. A pattern has developed here with Russia playing a major role in problems around the world. Syria, Iran, and the Ukraine all have one thing in common, Russian interference.
Today Russia has alerted over 150,000 soldiers to test their readiness to invade the Ukraine, the Syrian Civil War rages on supported by Russia killing tens of thousands. Iran , once again supported by Russia, is racing to build nuclear weapons and threatening to wipe Israel from the map. The US is committed by treaty to defend South Korea against the nuclear armed North Korea, which just so happen to share the world’s most heavily armed border in the world with over 1.2 million on either side of the border ready to kill each other. The US is also obligated by treaty to defend Japan and all its territory. Recently the Chinese have begun laying claim to Japanese territory. To intimidate the Japanese and America the Chinese have routinely in the last year sent ships and planes to continuously provoke the Japanese. The exact same has happened with the Philippines, which just so happens to have a treaty with the US.
None of the above even mentions the ongoing battle with islamic extremists around the globe. On top of all this current Sec. Def. Hagel has admitted that the US stands to lose military dominance if investments aren’t made to ensure continued US technological advantages. However in spite of everything I just listed, what can only be described as a world spinning out of control, this administration has decided to make drastic cuts to the American military. In essence we are communicating are lack of resolve and weakness to our many adversaries around the globe. Unfortunately for us and the world as a whole they are listening.
Over at www.autoblog.com they recently had a story about how a 3rd Korean automaker was trying to enter the market and start exporting cars to the US. It got me thinking about how bad our foreign policy is these days with countries like South Korea. First, the US imports about 400,000 cars a year from South Korea while we send them a whopping 15, 000 annually. Second, the US recently signed a free trade agreement with South Korea and the outcome was predictable. Our trade deficit with South Korea soared to a record $23 billion dollars. Third, South Koreans don’t even like Americans. With the exception of the older generation that can still remember America helping South Korea the rest of South Korea seems to almost hate Americans.
All of this makes me ask why? Why do we sign free trade deals with a country that costs us billions in lost jobs? Why do we then station tens of thousands of troops there to defend the same country at great cost ( I was recently told by someone that South Korea has agreed to foot part of the bill for US troops stationed there, how generous of them)? Finally, why would we do all of this for a country that hates us? The only country capable of such stupidity is America, thanks Uncle Sam!
“Read my lips”, “I am not a crook”, and now “you can keep your coverage” has been added to the long list of infamous quotes by some of our presidents. A president and his administration can only be effective as long as they have credibility with the average American on the street. This being the case the Obama administration is now beginning to realize that they are in big trouble with the president’s words from several years ago when he said that if you were happy with your existing insurance then you would be able to keep it. Unfortunately for millions of Americans that has not turned out to be true. To make matters worse not only have many lost their insurance but they also are facing paying a lot more for insurance that ironically is not any better.
The younger Bush faced a similar scenario when the average American essentially no longer trusted the administration after Hurricane Katrina. His presidency, which was already becoming crippled because of the incompetence in Iraq, was permanently wounded after Katrina and never did recover. Now the Obama administration is facing the same dilemma. People already had doubts but for what ever reason (probably a media failing to do their job) they still had some trust in President. Benghazi, the IRS Scandal, and now the biggest lie of all about Obama Care and this president has officially lost all credibility. Now America is faced with colossal failure with Obama Care and a President who will say anything (like trying to deny he said people could keep their same coverage) to dodge responsibility. 2016 can’t get here soon enough.