America: The Bully

If one thought of the international community as a playground with children’s cartoon characters, America is rapidly filling the role of Roger Klotz from Doug and Angelica from Rugrats. We are becoming the obnoxious bully everyone loves to hate with Trump in The White House. Not America the light of the world, America that sends it’s new U.N. Ambassador who on her first day proclaims: “For those who don’t have our backs, the U.S. is taking names.”

Oooh. Burn! Boom! The world collectively shakes in its boots, or I suppose that is the desired effect.

Ambassador Haley, as the kids say, gurl bye!

Like, really? This is what we’re doing? This is how the Ambassador to the United Nations speaks to them on Day One?An ambassador to the United Nations? Maybe my ears were clogged when she said that. I didn’t actually hear that, right?

But Americans, or some of us, love the idea of America with a gun on her hip at all times as she gallivants around the world. America as the hero, the fighter, like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky who can do anything and beat anyone – except when we don’t. There is always that little problem of when we don’t.

What are we fighting for? What are we so angry about? Taking names. Who the hell talks like this and who puts someone like that in a position as an ambassador? Oh, right Clementine the Great.

If the role we were looking to fill was  International Badass – I get it, put Nikki Haley in that slot quick so she can talk slick and tough and do her best John Wayne impersonation.

But America needs an Ambassador, we need diplomats. We need people who believe and understand diplomacy and history. We do not need badasses. This isn’t some Western flick. America needs allies and individuals on our side, not enemies and a growing list of countries we antagonize.

President Obama was weak and feckless according to the Republicans. Everything he did jeopardize our security. I don’t agree with that assessment, but fine – for the purpose of today’s post let’s say that’s true. How is saber rattling and provocation going to improve things?  There is no logic to be found in the fact that our country’s course correction for this problem was to elect an insecure, blustering fool intent on engaging in pissing contests and cockfights with the rest of the world.

It’s as if America, and our chosen leader, has a small penis and, so, we have to overcompensate by pounding our chest and provoking fights with other nations.

The concern, of course, is that one of these days our bully-in-chief is going to say something or do something that has consequences our country does not fully anticipate or can handle. Again, a bully can’t win all the fights, and there is always that one person, or be it country in this case, willing to stand up to the bully and beat their ass.

By my count we have done our talk tough, try to push them against the locker routine with China, Mexico, seven majority-Muslim nations with a special shout out to Iran who we decided to “put on notice.”

Today, the King having tired of whatever the Prime Minister of Australia was saying to him, reportedly hung up the phone and ended their phone conversation early – but not before bragging about the election and telling the man he had better calls with other world leaders. Allegedly. If allowed, I suspect he would have screamed off with his head too.

Let’s go back to China for a moment. Good old super populous China. Our trading partner and holder of vast sums of our debt – our special friend, China. If China had a penis, I bet it would be bigger than ours, but that doesn’t seem to stop the President from flashing his and grandstanding.

Then President-elect Trump gave China the finger and ended up on the phone with Taiwan (which we don’t do), as opposed to Beijing first,  breaking years of cultivated diplomacy. Because that’s not enough, Trump continues to give China the finger by tweeting haphazardly about it being a currency manipulator. Trump may be right about that, but Twitter is not the medium for such discussions.

Yes, for the love of God if Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus are on Twitter it’s probably not the forum for major diplomatic discussions! Who is going to tell this man that you can’t discuss ANY  substantive political issue in less than 140 characters? Sorry, I digress.

And lastly, we’ve taken a more hawkish stance on Chinese activities in the South China Sea where there are island building and territorial disputes between various countries.

When China basically responded that American interference in the South China Sea would result in war between our two countries, the American media was too busy chasing the shiny balls that were the President’s silly Executive Orders on healthcare and regulations and whatever tweet of the day to really focus on that.

Our fight with Mexico would be hilarious if the proposed policy weren’t so appalling in its arrogance. We want to build a wall. Ok, great. The President didn’t convince Americans that it was important enough during the campaign and that we should pay for it.  No, instead, he dictates that it will be built and Mexico will pay for it. Mexico and Mexicans were minding their own business and had no say in this declaration. The entire thing is absurd.

As any sane person would expect, Mexico says they don’t want to build no stinkin’ wall! Ok, I said that with a Mexican accent in my head. I feel very passionate about this foolishness!

President Trump almost seems incredulous that the Mexican government has not caved. Our bullying President does not re-think his position, oh no, he instead begins to talk about tariffs and taxes and reimbursements and other crap. It’s ludicrous.

The Muslim ban which the Trump Administration doesn’t want to get caught calling a Muslim ban, ultimately just works against our long-term interests in the Muslim world. We can’t say we want peace with the Muslim world when we are behaving as if we are anti-Muslim. It’s really that simple. It’s like a Klansman claiming he just has a bed sheet on his head. A duck’s a duck. A Klansman is a Klansman and an American President assisting in the spread of Islamophobia – is exactly as it looks. More importantly, we are shamefully silent when there is an attack on a Mosque in Canada by a white Christian – who killed six.

So basically if a Muslim commits murder we shut down travel when white folks do it – the President can’t even mention it. We stood with France and Germany. Guess the Candian shooting doesn’t fit the narrative.So, yes, none of that will be good for American relationships with that region of the world.

And then there’s Iran – which deserves a shout out. Has King Trump been awakened from his slumber to receive a special briefing on the Rubix cube complexity that is Iran?

There is one aspect of the Iranian issue that is not that complicated, though. If the United States has a stated goal of not allowing Iran to have a nuclear weapon,  we currently have a deal (not perfect) that removes that postpones that for a decade. Great, in theory, no war.

If you scrap the Nuclear Deal, then we go back to Iran having no incentive not to pursue their nuclear ambitions. If diplomacy is thrown out, and I don’t have faith in diplomacy under Trump when he has ambassadors taking names, that means that either the U.S. – or Israel – will be forced to stop Iran through military action. That’s it. That portion of the relationship, on this issue, is simple. No sane or thoughtful person believes that will be good for America or Israel.

Since starting my initial draft of this post, the U.S. has announced new sanctions on Iran because of its missile test, and Iran has told the U.S. to “be careful.”

President Trump has not been in office for 20 days.

But there’s that one country we won’t bully, and I hear they have excellent Vodka, which we may all be in need of soon.

Today, the U.S. announced the easing of sanctions that target information technology products being sold to Russia. The Obama Administration put sanctions in place after 17 U.S. intelligence agencies noted that Russia attempted to interfere in our electoral process. Today, the White House eased those same restrictions. I guess that’s cool. That makes sense. That’s America being tough. Let’s sell technology to the Russian Security Service – great!

Trump is in bed with Russia like a cheap whore and we have a Congress so obscenely obsessed with power that no one cares to speak out about behavior that would have any other politician run out of town. I guess even bullies know who they can’t beat. But here’s the thing, America can stand up to Russia, but our President can’t. Why? There is an answer to that and I would love to know what it is.

Here we are, with our own 70-year-old American bully President. America, the former light of the world, now leading it with vitriol and bullying behavior, with a President ready to stick his thumb in the eye of every other country – consequences be damned.

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