Sunday, December 18, 2016

Trump's People are Obviously Clueless. Just ask the Media.

Bugs at rest.

One of the things I complained about last week was the way the media and commentators have criticized Trump's advisors but never bothered to read what they said. Bloomberg provided an excellent example this week of how the major media dismissively discuss Trump's team using language they would never use with Obama's, even though many individuals on Obama's team come directly out of firms doing business with China, or revolved out to such firms -- all without bothering to find out what Trump's people have actually said. Bloomberg criticized Trump's recent words...
Trump’s threats might be more credible if there were any indication he or his team had thought through these possibilities.
Yeah... let's take a look at what Bloomberg says and compare it to what Trump's people have said. I simply and easily located discussions from Trump people. After you scan this, it will be obvious which of these two sides is the clueless, shallow one that hasn't thought through the possibilities:

Trump’s Advisers
China has limited room to retaliate economically against the U.S., so Xi is likely to respond strategically -- by undermining the sanctions regime against North Korea, say, or by ramping up the militarization of islands in the South China Sea. At a minimum, Xi might stage military exercises near Taiwan to test U.S. resolve.
John Bolton, Jan 2016 (WSJ)

 But Beijing’s ongoing reckoning with economic reality doesn’t necessarily mean it will be less assertive internationally. Authoritarian governments confronted with domestic problems have historically sought to distract their citizens by rallying nationalistic support against foreign adversaries. Who better to blame for China’s economic crash than the U.S. and pesky Taiwan?
On North Korea, existing sanctions legislation empowers the new administration to target Chinese companies and banks involved with Pyongyang’s weapons programs.
Ed Feulner (Korean news)
 The United States should impose "secondary boycott" sanctions on Chinese financial institutions for doing business with North Korea, a senior member of the transition team of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was quoted as saying Tuesday.
Former Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner, considered a key policy expert in the transition team, made the remark during a meeting with a bipartisan group of South Korean lawmakers, according to Rep. Na Kyung-won of the ruling Saenuri Party.

 In the South China Sea, that means re-energizing the Obama administration’s efforts to build a regional coalition committed to defending the freedom of the seas and skies.
Peter Navarro (the Globalist)

Beijing is not seeing this chessboard wrong. The question is whether American diplomacy can truly pivot to Asia and make this rapidly deteriorating situation right.

John Bolton Fox

Beijing does not want actual hostilities, but believes it can achieve its central objectives by threats and pressure alone. In response, America should immediately engage in more extensive and assertive “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea.  Moreover, Washington should launch far more active diplomatic efforts to induce Southeast Asia’s other territorial claimants to resolve their competing claims and thereby present a united front to Beijing. 
On trade and market access, finding a way to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership would do more than tweaking Xi over Taiwan to push the region in a direction more favorable to the U.S.
A whole piece from about how many people around Trump support the TPP

naming and shaming state-linked Chinese hackers
Bolton has written in great detail on this exact topic in an LA Times Op-ed. And his ideas are much better….

First, America must create structures of deterrence. Starting now, America's cyber response should be disproportionate. The justification for such a response is all too clear: Without it we are facing repeated cycles of cyber incursions.  To persuade Beijing and others to desist, they must believe their conduct will result in costs that are unacceptable and unsustainable…
 more aggressively using World Trade Organization rules to punish Chinese product dumping. 
Navarro has explained at length on why the WTO can’t be used: it is too slow. You can argue that he is wrong, but you can’t argue that he hasn’t thought about it

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Anonymous said...

They are not clueless. I am afraid that they are pushing for more dangerous game: arm confrontation with China. Reduce China before they become too powerful.

There can be only one power in Pacific. It will be decided by military power in near future. US believes in fighting total war. This might be the only sure way to rejuvenate world economy.

TKL said...

I tried to read that Bloomberg editorial. I stopped at the second paragraph after this sentence: " The policy has largely neutered what had been one of Asia’s most dangerous flashpoints and has allowed Taiwan’s democracy ... to flourish." I laughed.

Anonymous said...

"They are not clueless. I am afraid that they are pushing for more dangerous game: arm confrontation with China. Reduce China before they become too powerful".

That is exactly right. Trumps advisors are gearing up for a military conflict with China. None of this is an accident, this is what they were brought on to do.


When are we going to see balanced critiques of the US advisors? I have not seen a single one on this site, just "trust them, they got this". The last time we listened to these same people tell us we needed a war right away, it was Iraq! You're telling your readers they should just trust John Bolton the failed neocon that authored the Iraq mess?

How can you tell your readers they should be ok with a return to the Bush doctrine and the Bush years, and then call people who can remember 10 years back stupid for objecting? In these weeks of posts, we have yet to see a single critique of those who may be managing this war, an no attention paid to very real reasons to question their intentions or ability to handle a conflict with China. Just Obama bashing Breitbart would be proud of and heavy handed 'whose side are you on' cheerleading.

We need objective balanced coverage that also shows the real danger in this military conflict, and we need to know who is running the show. They are also dangerous people, and they are led by a president with no experience that ignores intelligence briefings.

So here's my request: I would like to see a piece covering exactly who these advisors are, their backrgrounds, and what their critics who do not trust them say. Not being told to trust them or you're dumb. That is not democracy, or freedom, or truth.

Anonymous said...

"Authoritarian governments confronted with domestic problems have historically sought to distract their citizens by rallying nationalistic support against foreign adversaries".

--Donald Trumps whole campaign summarised in one sentence.

Bolton needs to start with the man in the mirror.