Fareed Zakaria GPS–Trump’s First Overseas Trip as 45th POTUS

May 30, 2017

Fareed Zakaria GPS–Trump’s First Overseas Trip as 45th POTUS


15 thoughts on “Fareed Zakaria GPS–Trump’s First Overseas Trip as 45th POTUS

  1. The White House is trying to sell Trump’s trip as a success with the folks in America, but the reality is that the Pope’s expression said it all when he met Trump, NATO leaders laughed at Trump when tried to lecture them, and the exhausted president was literally left leading from behind as he was too tired to walk with the other G7 leaders and had to follow behind in a golf cart. For good measure, Trump also appeared out of it and wandered off during a meeting with Israel, only to be brought back by staff. Macron’s comments that he lumped the US president in with authoritarians should be troubling to the American people, but it is also evidence of Trump’s failure to push around US allies. The world is not to going to bend to Trump, so he will either have to come to the table as a partner, or the world’s only superpower will be left behind.

    French President Macron compares Trump to authoritarian thugs clearly shown Trump’s first foreign trip was a complete failure. Macron came away from his meeting with Trump unimpressed as he compared his handshake with Trump to a moment of truth with authoritarian dictators. “My handshake with him – it wasn’t innocent,” Macron told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper in an interview on Sunday. “It’s not the be-all and the end-all of a policy, but it was a moment of truth.” “Donald Trump, the Turkish president or the Russian president see relationships in terms of a balance of power, Macron said. “That doesn’t bother me. I don’t believe in diplomacy by public abuse, but in my bilateral dialogues I won’t let anything pass.” It was a moment that showed Trump that his strongman bully tactics weren’t going to work with the French president.

    German Chancellor Merkel’s warning that the US can no longer be depended on is another evidence that Trump’s first foreign trip was a complete disaster for the US. “The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days,” Merkel told a crowd at an election rally in Munich, southern Germany. “We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands,” she added. While Germany and Europe would strive to remain on good terms with America and Britain, “we have to fight for our own destiny”, Merkel went on. Merkel’s comments demonstrates how much weakening of the US that Trump has accomplished in four short months. Trump has wrecked alliances that have avoided another world war for the past 70 years. Trump is distancing the US from its traditional friends in the West while cozying up to Putin and various authoritarians and dictators. The US is losing power and influence in the world under Donald Trump. Instead of making America great again, Trump is carrying out the Russian goals of fracturing the West, weakening democracy, and undermining the world’s only superpower. Merkel’s warning is evidence that Germany is quickly replacing the US as the world’s great democratic power.

    Another evidence that Trump’s first foreign trip was a complete disaster is the recent wave of gruesome attacks that claimed scores of innocent lives across several countries, including the attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt, the bomb explosion in Manchester, UK, and several deadly attacks in Iraq and Syria, bears witness to the unbridled spread of terrorism to different parts of the world. Trump’s belligerent remarks encouraging more terrorist attacks. In fact the next day after Trump’s bellicose speech in Saudi Arabia was the attack in Manchester which is now being connected to IS (Daesh), which has been created by the Wahhabism and funded by Saudi Arabia, the version that advocates radicalization and benefits Saudi interests. The gory attacks in Egypt and Britain came in the wake of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia supposedly aimed at shaping a unified counter-terrorism front in the region and resetting relations with the Muslim world. The US and Saudi Arabia, along with a number of their regional allies, stand accused of providing weapons and financial backing to various militant groups wreaking havoc in countries like Syria and Iraq.

    Trump didn’t shape policy. He isolated the US from the rest of the world and encouraged the rise of terrorism, which is why his trip was a failure. But, of course, Trump’s die-hard supporters believe otherwise. They will fabricate “alternative facts” to show Trump’s trip was a success and introducing unrelated issues to cloud and blurry the event. No matter how Trumpsters like to spin to protect their idiotic leader, a fact is a fact. To me, facts are objective notes and lyrics on sheet music, and “alternative facts” are what the singers give subjectively to the listeners. Fact is basically something that exists, or is present in reality. Hence, these are things that can be seen visually, and these are the things that can actually be verified. Facts are objective matters rather than subjective ones. It is not just something that you believe, but rather these are more or less the things that can be observed empirically, or by the senses. So, facts can be seen and heard, as well as proven by the other senses. The “poorly educated” Trumpsters never understood this.

  2. Trump administration officials all but admitted that the Trump was too tired to hold a press conference, by offering up a series of lame excuses for why he had taken no questions from the press during his first foreign trip. The White House isn’t fooling anyone. They were trying to keep Trump away from any unscripted setting where he would be asked to talk about Russia. The administration admitted that by day two of the trip, Trump was exhausted. He was too tired to hold a press conference, and the White House didn’t trust a tired Trump to talk about Russia.

    A man who ran for president based on his stamina and energy doesn’t have enough energy to make it through a foreign trip and talk to the press. Trump doesn’t belong in the White House. He belongs in a gated retirement community. Or the White House could have asked Merkel to push him around in a stroller.

  3. If you can hear what Trump said directly, why bother to hear someone suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome writing about Trump’s words? Here is the source that you can judge yourselves:

  4. What GPS does not say is that the US debt is approaching US 20 Trillion. The credit Swap DerivTives stand at US one thousand two hundred trillion and the middle class income has by and large remaind static over the last two decades. In the meantime the top 15 countries in the Global Trading System have trade surplus thanks to the free trade system. There is o need to mention how and from whom this healthy trade surplus was achieved. In the past much of this trade surplus was negated by reverse financial flows in the form of investments. But today the US is not the only attractive destination for investments. But a good place for debt financing.

  5. The “poorly educated” Trumpists salute all of Trump’s actions, no matter how contentious or disputed, and believe every word that comes out from his mouth, including non-word like “covfefe”. The fact is Trump simply has no idea what he’s talking about on any subject most of the time. Trump’s rambling justification withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord was humiliating because it was total gibberish that revealed that he’s no clue what Paris agreement is or what it does and doesn’t do. Virtually every passage of his speech contains something false or misleading. I’m not calling these “lies,” because that implies Trump knows they’re false. It’s far from clear that Trump understands anything about any of the issues at stake, or is even capable of forming stable beliefs as such. I seriously question if he has read the Paris accord text with full comprehension.

    Early on in the speech, Trump said: “Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.” This made me laugh out loud when I heard it. I still get a kick out of it. The Paris climate agreement is voluntary. Participating countries determine their own targets and their own policies. They can, at any time, revise those targets and policies. They can fail to meet the targets, without penalty. When Trump says “nonbinding”, that’s what nonbinding means. There are no legal bonds. The point of Paris accord is to use the power of public commitment and accountability. The idea is that, by publicly stating targets and reporting transparently on progress, participants will be driven by pride, peer pressure, and internal politics to meet those targets. But the agreement does not impose any legal penalty on participants that fail to meet their targets. Again: That’s what nonbinding means. So how, then, if there’re no threatened penalties, and the US is free, within the agreement, to implement whatever policies it wants, can the agreement also “impose draconian financial and economic burdens”? The answer: It can’t. That sentence makes no sense, even internally. The chances that the logical dissonance troubled Trump for even a microsecond seems, however, remote.

    Trump warned later of massive future legal liability: “Believe me, we have massive legal liability if we stay in.” This is also 100% bullshit. It refers to the theory that Paris participants can’t legally reduce their targets, opening the administration to lawsuits if it, say, rolls back the Clean Power Plan. That theory is hogwash. No one buys it – not the negotiators in the room when the agreement was forged, not NGOs, not participating countries, no one. The only person who seems to be pushing the theory is Trump’s White House lawyer, Don McGahn. And he’s just doing it to manipulate Trump, which seems to have worked pretty well.

    Trump said the US will “begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers. So we’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. If we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.” Negotiate what? I’ve already mentioned above, each country determines its own contribution. They’re called “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs). Each country is free to revise its NDCs at any time – no negotiations needed. If Trump wants different terms, he just has to say so. As to renegotiating the entire Paris framework, the result of many years of painstaking work by hundreds of diplomats? No, the other 194 nations involved are not down with that. Tearing up thousands of man hours of work on behalf of an erratic man-child is a bad deal. In fact, the leaders of Germany, France and Italy have already immediately told Trump to f**k-off, kind of.

    The topper was this incoherent stretch of gibberish, where Trump seems to think that the global economy is stuck in the early 20th Century: “Further, while the current agreement effectively blocks the development of clean coal in America, China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it. India can double their coal production. We’re supposed to get rid of ours. Even Europe is allowed to continue construction of coal plants. In short, the agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs. It just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States and ships them to foreign countries. This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

    But the Paris accord doesn’t bar America, or any of the 194 other countries that are a part of it, from doing anything. Let me repeat one more time what I’ve already said above: The non-binding agreement allowed countries to map out their own, personalized plans for reducing emissions that cause climate change. The hope was that through peer pressure, diplomacy and negotiation, the countries would grow their commitment to reducing carbon emissions over the years while giving them the flexibility to respond to future variables. The accord carries no penalties should nations miss their targeted carbon emission reductions or simply decide not to comply. The US vowed to reduce its emissions by at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, something that could mean less coal for America, but there is no specific limit. Under China’s plan, their emissions would peak in 2030 – indeed allowing them more reliance on coal in the short term – after which a fifth of its energy would come from carbon-free sources.

    It’s not clear that Trump has any clue what “clean coal” means. Insofar as it has any meaning, it means coal plants that capture and bury their carbon emissions. Far from “blocking” the development of clean coal, a commitment to reducing carbon emissions is the only reason to invest in it. Why else would you bury the carbon? But then, I think Trump just says “clean coal” when he means “coal” because (laughing out loud) nothing matters.

    China is not “allowed” to do anything. Like all other participants, China offered its own NDC and can revise it at any time. The only one in control of China’s policies is China. And China is building advanced, cleaner coal plants because, unlike the US, it does not have access to cheap, abundant natural gas, which has been the main driver of recent US carbon reductions. Nonetheless, the Chinese central government has canceled hundreds of coal plants recently, the existing coal fleet is running at historically low rates, the government is committed to phasing coal out as fast as possible, and the country currently expects to reach its NDC target early. In fact, China is investing $360 billion and creating 13 million new jobs by 2020 in clean energy. China also installed an average of one wind turbine every hour of every single day. Meanwhile, Trump is worried about coal jobs that employ 65,000 people in the US.

    India, which also won’t be “allowed” to do anything, is, in fact, projected to use more coal, but it is working at breakneck speed to transition. It’s pledged to get 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, which will include building out 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022. India is set to pass Japan this year to become the world’s third largest market for solar, after China and the US.

    Trump’s speech isn’t logical. It isn’t even a policy position. Trump’s speech revealed that he’s no understanding of the Paris climate agreement. With each stupid and uninformed decision that Trump makes, he’s destroying American global leadership and weakening the US as a world power. Trump’s withdrawal from Paris agreement is a major blow to the American-led global order. The move puts the US in rare company. The only countries that aren’t part of Paris agreement are Syria and Nicaragua. Syria did not sign because Bashar al-Assad’s is too busy fighting a war to worry about climate change. Nicaragua did not sign because they felt Paris climate accord did not go far enough. Now that the world’s sole superpower and architect of the international order is quitting an agreement that shares near-universal support globally. Even North Korea is on board. This isn’t just a random piece of trivia. It speaks to the major, major implications that Trump’s decision has for America’s strategic position around the world.

    Trump has just handed the global leadership to China. The question is: Is China ready to accept it?

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