Posts Tagged ‘foreign affairs’

Fictional Narratives

November 25, 2019

Fictional Narratives

“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
Former National Security Council Russia adviser Fiona Hill, testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, November 21, 2019.

More:

“‘Some of You on this Committee Appear to Believe’ That Russia Didn’t Meddle in 2016,” Defense One

“Charges of Ukrainian Meddling? A Russian Operation, U.S. Intelligence Says,” Julian E. Barnes and Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times

“GOP congressmembers blamed Ukraine for election hacking. Russia’s been trying to make that happen for years.” Kathryn Krawczyk. The Week

“Sen. John Kennedy repeats Ukraine conspiracy theory about DNC server,” Jacob Knutson, Axios

“‘Everything becomes a conspiracy theory’: Trump leans into spurious claims for impeachment defense,” Nancy Cook, Politico

“’Are you sure?’ Trump’s Ukraine conspiracy theory was a bit much even for Fox & Friends,” Aaron Rupar, Vox

“Time to call out and remove Putin’s propagandists,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

Update:

“GOP Sen. John Kennedy: ‘I Was Wrong’ to Say Ukraine May Have Hacked DNC Server,” Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?

October 18, 2018

“Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?” asks Mehdi Hasan at the Intercept. While the president claims he has “no financial interests” in Saudi Arabia, The Kingdom bailed out Mr. Trump after some of his less-artful deals, and has bought Trump properties for millions.

More:

“Trump tweeted he has no ties to Saudi Arabia. A Fox News account proved him wrong.” Stavros Agorakis, Vox

“Whether Trump has financial interests *in* Saudi Arabia, he has plenty *with* the country,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“Trump and Kushner Put Saudi’s Money First,” Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg

“11 senators request Trump, sons disclose business ties with Saudi Arabia,” Marisa Fernandez, Axios

“President Trump has a massive conflict of interest on Saudi Arabia,” Noah Bookbinder, Washington Post

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Mad for Vlad, Trump Invites Putin To Washington

July 23, 2018

Mad for Vlad, Trump Invites Putin To Washington
President Donald Trump so enjoyed his successful Helsinki meeting with Vladimir Putin that he’s sent a message to the Russian strongman inviting him to the White House this fall. Great, another damn sequel. Perhaps Russian oligarchs could use the occasion to hold a GOP fundraiser in DC — it wouldn’t be the first for some of them.

Mr. Putin may be welcome at the White House and the Trump Hotel, but he can forget about addressing a joint session of Congress. Maybe he can pop across the Potomac to visit his fans at the NRA instead.

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Trump’s Mercenary Back-Channel to Russia

April 3, 2017

Trump's Mercenary Backchannel to Russia

Nine days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, the United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a contact close to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, according to the Washington Post. The January 11th meetup, an attempt to open a back-channel line of communication between Putin and Trump, took place in the Seychelles islands. Erik Prince, who donated $250,000 to the Trump election effort, is still in the army-for-hire business, providing private security services for the UAE, and lives part-time in Abu Dhabi. His sister, Betsy DeVos, is currently Secretary of Education.

More:

“Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel,” Adam Entous, Greg Miller, Kevin Sieff and Karen DeYoung, Washington Post

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Reagan Foreign Policy Based on Fiction

January 8, 2016

Reagan Foreign Policy Based on Fiction

“Ronald Reagan had an unusual suggestion to help Margaret Thatcher understand the mentality of the Soviet leader: read Tom Clancy’s thriller.
Papers released by the National Archives in Kew, London, reveal the former US president was ‘much impressed’ with Clancy’s Red Storm Rising, which takes places in Russia where an Islamist terror attack triggers a Third World War.
After his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Mr. Reagan said that reading the book would help Mrs Thatcher understand Russia’s Cold War thinking.”

—  Valerie Edwards, The Daily Mail [links added]

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Kid Senator Pens ‘Cheeky’ Letter to Iran; International Crisis Ensues

March 11, 2015

Kid Senator Pens 'Cheeky' Letter to Iran; International Crisis Ensues

In office for a couple of months, young freshman Senator Tom Cotton (AR-R) wrote an open letter to the leaders of Iran, saying that any nuclear agreement they sign with the current administration won’t be worth a bucket of warm spit in two years when the Tea Party takes over the White House. That’s misleading, but 46 other GOP senators signed on anyway, some of them older guys who really don’t know what they’re signing. These political pen pals are being hailed as … traitors, reckless, dumb, dangerous and irresponsible, trolls, saboteurs, and so on.

Secretaries of State past and present denounced the letter as a dangerous political stunt. Iran blew it off, but there’s been a strong, substantial public backlash in the USA. Now the GOP letter writers claim it was all a joke, that they were just being “cheeky.” After all, what’s more fun than jeopardizing a critical nuclear weapons agreement?

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Romney Charm, Offensive

July 27, 2012

Romney Charm, Offensive

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney sought to demonstrate his statesmanship with a trip to the Old World, but he seems to have an odd sense of diplomacy. As a guest in the United Kingdom he opined that London’s arrangements for the 2012 Olympics were “disconcerting” and “obviously is not something which is encouraging,” and “it’s hard to know just how well” the Games will succeed.

Having arranged snowball fights at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City (population 190,000), Mr. Romney is well qualified to assess the 2012 Olympics in London (population 8,000,000). Certainly the organizer of London’s Games should have solved his logistical problems the way Mitt Romney did, by becoming a registered lobbyist and getting $1.3 Billion in earmarks from the national government. Ladies and gentlemen, that is superior business management.

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March Madness, Foreign Policy Edition

March 16, 2012

March Madness, Foreign Policy Edition

The editors of Foreign Policy magazine have prepared their brackets for the annual “Democrats vs. Dictators” March Madness series. Like every season, anything can happen. Just remember those big upsets in last year’s “Arab Spring” round.

“Democrats vs. Dictators: 2012,” Foreign Policy blog

Related:

U.S. Patent No. 6,092,806, “100 Point NCAA Basketball Tournament Prediction Game” (1998).

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Why Wait? Ask Now: Who Lost Iraq?

October 23, 2011

Why Wait? Ask Now: Who Lost Iraq?

President Barack Obama has announced that U.S. combat troops will leave Iraq before the end of 2011, ending nine years of military action that have wrecked the economy and cost the lives thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

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Sarah Palin in India

March 19, 2011

Sarah Palin in India

Former Alaska Temp-Governor Sarah Palin recently addressed a dinner meeting of India’s top thinkers and celebrities at the India Today Conclave. India Today Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie respectfully introduced Mrs. Palin as “the sexiest brand in Republican politics.” Intellectuals in the audience were delighted with her presentation, “My Vision of America,” as it was an object lesson in why India is overtaking the U.S.A. as a world power. Bollywood entertainment executives were likewise entranced, since political stand-up comedy is nowhere near that outrageous in South Asia.

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