Monday, May 22, 2017

Make America Hate Again

Despicable: deserving to be despised, or regarded with distaste, disgust, or disdain; contemptible

This is the word that comes to mind when I read the speech given by Trump while in Saudi Arabia, the land with one of the most heinous human rights records on the planet.  Forgive the length of the cites; I know you know this generally – take the time to read it specifically:

·        Through 2015 Saudi authorities continued arbitrary arrests, trials, and convictions of peaceful dissidents. Dozens of human rights defenders and activists continued to serve long prison sentences for criticizing authorities or advocating political and rights reforms.
·        In 2015, over a dozen prominent activists convicted on charges arising from their peaceful activities were serving prison sentences.
·        Saudi authorities publicly lashed prominent blogger Raif Badawi 50 times on January 9, 2015, as part of his 2014 sentence for setting up a liberal website and allegedly insulting religious authorities. On June 7, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld Badawi’s sentence of 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes.
·        Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam and systematically discriminates against Muslim religious minorities…
·        Detainees, including children, commonly face systematic violations of due process and fair trial rights, including arbitrary arrest. Judges routinely sentence defendants to floggings of hundreds of lashes.
·        Authorities do not always inform suspects of the crime with which they are charged, or allow them access to supporting evidence, sometimes even after trial sessions have begun.
·        Saudi Arabia dramatically increased the execution rate in 2015. According to Interior Ministry statements, Saudi Arabia executed 152 persons between January and November, mostly for murder and drug offenses. Sixty-two of those executed were convicted for non-violent drug crimes. Most executions are carried out by beheading, sometimes in public.
·        …ministerial policies and practices forbid women from obtaining a passport, marrying, travelling, or accessing higher education without the approval of a male guardian, usually a husband, father, brother, or son.
·        On March 26, a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of states began a campaign of airstrikes against Houthi forces in Yemen and instituted a naval and aerial blockade….Between March and July nearly 2,112 civilians were killed in Yemen as a result of the armed conflict, most from coalition airstrikes.
·        The coalition has used cluster munitions, banned by 117 states, in civilian-populated areas in Yemen, wounding and killing civilians.

And America’s response?

·        The United States largely did not criticize Saudi human rights violations beyond Congressionally-mandated annual reports…
·        The US provided logistics and intelligence support to Saudi-led coalition forces conducting airstrikes on Yemen…

I am honored to be received by such gracious hosts.

Gracious: pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous; indulgent or beneficent in a pleasantly condescending way, especially to inferiors; merciful or compassionate.

Remember the list.  Is there anything “gracious” about this host?  Well, yes; Trump’s meaning will be revealed in a few short sentences:

Now, there is even more blessed news I am pleased to share with you.

Blessed: consecrated; sacred; holy; sanctified; worthy of adoration, reverence, or worship; divinely or supremely favored.

Look at the list again – do the Trump-loving so-called Christians call anything on this list “blessed”?

Yesterday, we signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia.

There it is – bombs for oil.  Gracious and blessed. 

This agreement will help the Saudi military to take a greater role in security operations.

Because 911, backing ISIS, destroying Yemen, and using Palestinians as a pawn are considered “security operations.”  One question: “security operations” for whom?

Later today, we will make history again with the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology – located right here, in this central part of the Islamic World.

This would be funny if it wasn’t.  Read something of Saudi Wahhabism; it is nothing if not “extremist.”  Extremely.

Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred.

Not in Saudi Arabia.

I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center – co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia…

The two biggest state sponsors of terrorism are putting themselves in charge of targeting the financiers of terrorism.  This would be funny if it wasn’t.

If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

We can only pray.  Finally, some truth.  Look in the mirror; look to your hosts.

This is a battle between Good and Evil.

Trump makes clear which side he is on.


Grand strategy my ass.  Goldman bankers throughout the administration; nothing repealed, nothing implemented; raining bombs everywhere; forgiving Hillary; no China manipulation; no drain the swamp.

And now this.

Remember my 1%?  Down to 0.1%.


  1. Here is response by Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs:

  2. The self-satisfaction of knowing I didn't vote for the red socialists is hollow succor as I sink with the ship.

    "I hasten to laugh at everything, for fear of being obliged to cry." - Pierre Beaumarchais; from 'The Barber of Seville'

  3. Genesis 50:20 - "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."

    There's only one Grand Strategist, and that's a great comfort to me these days.

  4. I guess I'm back to clinging to the libertarian moral high ground. All my efforts during the last election were demonstrably futile.

    1. Jeff

      If you have written here in the past of your efforts, forgive me as I do not recall. In any case, could you please offer a summary of these and why you believe these to be futile.

      Depending on your response, it could offer ground for some worthwhile discussion.

    2. BM

      It's probably not the response you expect, but I wouldn't mind being convinced my time wasn't entirely wasted.

      I was never a Trump supporter, but I did expect him to reduce military conflict somewhat even while he accelerated economic decline in this country. Both would be to my liking.

      My efforts were largely about exposing Hillary and the DNC on various trade forums. I chose active boards with lively political sections. I worked at it, took the time to make reasoned responses and provide references difficult to discredit. I'm certain I cost Hillary a lot of votes without having to cast one myself. I did pose as a modern liberal, which was maybe slightly outside my morals, but highly effective.

      I think those efforts were futile because Trump is no better than Hillary. He's as pro establishment as any previous president, whatever he said or believed during his campaign. The inevitable economic decline will be masked with military conflict, as it has always been.

    3. Jeff, I offer the following possibility:

      There are many in the US that are angry, angry enough to vote for someone who clearly represented himself as outside of the establishment.

      These people are angry for many good reasons and some not so good reasons. They voted for Trump because he said he would do something about these reasons underlying the anger.

      He is not delivering. We know, in any case, that the system as it currently stands cannot be saved.

      Where will those angry people look the next time? I suggest that many will decide that the system is corrupt - again, we know that, but not many of our fellow travelers know that.

      Many are learning this. This can only be good for those of us who believe de-legitimizing the state is a key objective.

      For this, Trump is a useful tool.

  5. Disgusting. The trajectory of Trump is actually worse than what we would have seen under Hillary of Jeb.

    I realize that Trump is under severe pressure, but it's also clear that Trump doesn't have a clear understanding of power, beyond a businessman's pay for play with politicians. He also doesn't have a firm ideological lens by which to understand events, which is perhaps why we see these 180 turns.

    Trump doesn't reward his followers. Supposedly it's virtually impossible for a campaign staffer to get a job in his administration. This is a developers mindset; the volunteers on his campaign have served their purpose, so they are now cast aside. No wonder Trump is alone in the White House.

    1. Matt, the trajectory may be worse...or maybe not. The one point I will make regarding the value of Trump is noted immediately above - in my response to Jeff at:

      bionic mosquito May 23, 2017 at 6:00 AM

      We would not have had this with Hillary or Jeb or any other candidate.

  6. The last election was so bad that my vote (many will say that it was a fool's errand to have voted at all) boiled down to the hope for a SCOTUS appointment that would be better than Hillary's choice. I'm happy with the choice, but time will tell whether he will hew to the Constitution or betray it like Roberts did.
    The Republic has long been dead and I don't see much hope for its resurrection. What remains of its form is being filled with contradictory substance, such that is becoming contradiction and a hypocrisy. How long it will take for the parasite to complete its takeover of the host is anyone's guess, but the takeover will have been so subtle and gradual that I doubt that the ultimate demise will even be noticed.
    It is folly to believe that one person, even the "perfect" constitutionalist/libertarian (insert your own adjective) President, could turn this ship around. He would still have to deal with the forces of evil in Congress and the Deep State, not to mention the ignorant masses who cannot see past their next entitlement check or video game.
    Personally, I would like to see a policy of strict non-interventionism and a rejection of entangling alliances. Unfortunately, our government has gotten us so entangled that I doubt we will ever extricate ourselves.
    It is tempting to say that I am saddened by the passing of the greatest bastion of human freedom that ever existed, but how can I be saddened by the passing of something that never existed, except on paper and in people's minds? What is sad is to see freedom's fire being extinguished in the minds and hearts of so many people by the lure of government promises of security, "free stuff," oppression, and political correctness.