Dan O'Heirity

The United States is a Long Way From Being Healed

I’m going to start this post with a most interesting report from MSNBC entitled, “Worst President In American History: Trump Term Ends Under A Cloud, In Calamity”. The title should give you a pretty good idea of what is coming. However, the report puts an interesting spin on the story. The presenter Rachel Maddow asks the question whether Trump would have run for president if he could have foreseen what the end of his presidency would like. The point Maddow makes is she is not asking about what he has done to the country but, rather, what the presidency has meant for him personally. I would recommend watching the video because it catalogues the disaster that has been Trump’s presidency. For example, Trump could even resign because he had no confidence that Pence would pardon him should he do so. Rather obviously, Trump is the first president in American history to have been impeached twice. There are other interesting facts. The only two banks to still have relations with Trump have now severed ties.

David Parkman has a good piece on the topic of Trump’s impeachment. The opening of Parkman’s commentary speaks volumes because he reiterates several times that we still do not know when the impeachment trial will go ahead in the Senate. I find this fact amazing. By all accounts Trump incited a riot and yet the question of when he will be tried has still to be settled. On a more positive note, support for Trump’s conviction amongst Republican voters has increased. However, only 20% of those polled want to see him convict. On the other side of things, 86% of Democrats polled want to see him convicted. However, as Parkman points out, it will be the Senate that either convicts or does not convict Trump and we have no real idea what Republican senators will do. Parkman concludes with the opinion that the trial needs to go ahead and that this needs to happen sooner rather than later. I concur. The longer the wait, the more the message spreads that Trump’s actions were not serious enough to warrant a rapid trial.

Fair to say that the United States is in a complete mess and that China will be loving it. Sure Biden has been sworn in as President but the economy is a wreck and Covid is rampant. Perhaps even more worrying is the fact that there are protesters on the street in Portland. You can watch this video from CNN which includes an interview with a protester who, in my opinion, is a complete and utter moron and possibly on some kind of recreational drugs. To put it another way, he doesn’t seem to have any real idea why he is protesting and his thought processes are so slow that I wonder whether there is really anything going on in his head. There is a second interview with a woman who is at least more articulate concerning the issues that she has with the government. However, she condones the violence and destruction of property saying that Americans demonstrate by destroying property. OK then. Perhaps the point from Sky News is that Biden has not condemned this particular piece of violence from Antifa. If so, semi fair point, but it is very clear that Biden condemns violent protests.

There’s another report on the violence in Portland that provides a few more facts and much more hard hitting video of the scenes in the streets. The Sky News story asks the question why Biden has not condemned the violence by Antifa, a group described as, “a left-wing anti-fascist and anti-racist political movement in the United States”. Sky News is no friend of Biden’s and so the point being made is obviously that Trump has been condemned for not denouncing right wing violence and yet here we have Biden failing to condemn left wing violence. It’s always a good idea to fact check news, particularly when it is news delivered by Sky News. I did a Google search using the key words, “Biden condemns Antifa”. The search returned a wealth of results showing that Biden has in fact condemned Antifa. Here is just one site that confirms that this is the case. So, Biden has condemned Antifa and, indeed, violent protest in general. Perhaps he has not come out to specifically condemn the Portland violence but that point seems a bit moot given his anti-violence stance.

China Fails to Understand Diplomacy and Reveals Its True Face

I have written many times that China simply fails to understand the art of diplomacy. Whenever China is annoyed, the world is sure to know. The world also knows a lot more when China reacts angrily towards the West. Basically, Beijing’s statements reveal aspects of the Chinese culture along with China’s strategic intentions. Take a look at this story from ABC News that reports on Chinas’ reaction to Mike Pompeo who said that China had committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Uyghur Muslims. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson responded that, “This US politician is notorious for lying and cheating, is making himself a laughing stock and a clown.” The key words here are, “laughing stock” and “clown”. The Chinese demand respect and there could be nothing worse for them than to be made “a laughing stock” and to be considered as “clowns”. Pompeo, I imagine, would have simply shrugged off the idea of being a laughing stock and a clown. The other point here is that diplomats do not go around accusing senior politicians of lying and cheating. It’s just not done. China, in reacting so angrily, evidences that Pompeo hit a sore spot with Beijing.

China’s complete immaturity on the world stage is also shown in Beijing’s relations with Australia. China spent the better part of 2020 imposing tariffs and embargos on Australian goods exported to China. The reason. Australia was vocal in calling for an independent inquiry into the origins and spread of Covid-19. China’s immaturity is given in two ways. First, Beijing piled tariff upon tariff upon tariff because Australia would not yield to China’s demands. Beijing had no other strategy than to try to bully Australia into behaving as Beijing wishes Australia to behave. Secondly, as was the case with Pompeo, Beijing released multiple angry press stories and diplomatic statements which clearly evidenced their anger with Australia. A story from Yahoo News will give you a bit of background to 2020 that I have been writing about. The story will also show you what Beijing is now trying to do to “coerce” Australia into “cooperating with China”. Basically China wants to Australia to be seen to distance itself from the United States under Biden’s presidency. However, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has already shown that he is not tending in that direction. Morrison has gone even further saying that discussions with China, “don’t happen subject to Australia getting rid of a free press. They don’t happen with Australia giving away our rules regarding who can invest in Australia“. This is a reference to a list of demands that China presented to Australia in 2020.

First Published 23rd January, 2021

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