Trump's Tilt to China Spells Trouble for Putin
The Democrats in their unremitting (and increasingly self-destructive) zeal to prove Trump has been colluding with Russia completely missed the red dragon in the room. It's Beijing our president has been conspiring with, not Moscow. And he's seemingly doing a decent job of it too. Consider this from Wednesday's Global Times, the English-language version of the People's Daily's (i. e. Chinese government house organ), :
The US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is headed toward the Korean Peninsula after abruptly turning back from sailing to Australia, and Trump sent a warning via his tweet. These are probably related to reports that satellite surveillance shows North Korea is likely to conduct new nuclear tests.
Washington's latest threat to Pyongyang is more credible given its just launched missile attack at an air base in Syria. The Korean Peninsula has never been so close to a military clash since the North conducted its first nuclear test in 2006.
If Pyongyang conducts its sixth nuclear test in the near future, the possibility of US military action against it will be higher than ever. Not only Washington brimming with confidence and arrogance following the missile attacks on Syria, but Trump is also willing to be regarded as a man who honors his promises.
Now the Trump team seems to have decided to solve the North Korean nuclear crisis. As the discussion runs deeper, a situation of no-solution will not be accepted.
Aside from the traditional communist carping about Western "arrogance," this passage is far more pro-Trump than anything to appear in our mainstream media other than Fox News. It could even have been on Breitbart. And lest you worry about that tiny sliver of "arrogance," the folks at Global Times make their message explicit in the last line of the article: "Pyongyang should avoid making mistakes at this time."
Another GT article begins this way:
At the invitation of US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday talked over phone with Trump on bilateral relations as well as issues of the Korean Peninsula and Syria. The phone conversation came shortly after the Mar-a-Lago meeting, which indicates the communication mechanism between the two leaders is working efficiently.
When the world is worried that the simmering situation both on the Korean Peninsula and in Syria may deteriorate and spiral out of control, the phone call between the top leaders of China and the US will have an impact on how the international community perceives the bilateral relationship, and will help boost optimism about the international situation.
Meanwhile, the message to the North Koreans was reiterated and stamped in stone at the United Nations when the Chinese, for the first time in recent memory, abstained from the Security Council vote condemning Assad's use of chemical weapons instead of joining in with their Russian allies.
A new partnership is likely forming between the world's two biggest economies. No doubt Vladimir Putin is very aware and this was on the Russian leader's mind when he met with Secretary of State Tillerson, also Wednesday. We don't know what precise message Rex delivered to Vladimir, but I suspect he didn't have to say much. Actions, as we all know, speak louder than words. For the first time since Nixon and Kissinger, an America president -- and presumably his secretary of State -- was using the Chinese to triangulate with the Russians. But this time America was even stronger than before, because Russia is much weaker than it was during the height of the Soviet Union. Oil is down and Putin's in trouble, no matter who is hacking whom.
Xi Jinping knows that too and was clearly impressed by our president's show of resolve in Syria, probably even more than by Trump's granddaughter's precocious grasp of Mandarin, although that no doubt helped in its way. Trump, to his credit, is quickly rebalancing global power in favor of our country previously so vitiated by Obama. Barack was embarrassed we were the world's only superpower and seemed to doubt that we were a force for good, even most of the time.
As more information emerges, the truth about Obama's cowardly failure to follow through on his "red line" against Assad for gassing his own people will be a growing and disturbing stain on the former president's legacy, in many ways fatal to it. It's clear from Obama and his surrogates' (John Kerry and Susan Rice) intermittent use of the adjective "declared" to modify "chemical weapons" that Obama and the surrogates knew Assad had not given up his WMDs, but didn't have the decency and honesty to tell the American public. Most of the time they didn't even bother with the modifier and just lied straight out. Since these prevarications ultimately concerned the horrid genocidal deeds of a dictator, they were considerably more grievous than the conventional political lie our ex-president was prey to ("if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor," etc.) -- or, for that matter, anything any other president I can think of ever proclaimed. Those gassed children belong to Obama.
When Trump refers to what he has been left by his predecessor colloquially as a "mess," he's right despite his homespun language. Indeed, it's an understatement. Leading from behind was a disaster -- from Libya to Iran to Syria and around the globe. But it's rather remarkable how quickly it can be repaired. In the foreign policy area, Trump is behaving like Reagan. Peace through strength -- so far. We are the only superpower. Trump knows it. Xi Jinping knows it. And Putin has to face it. Tant pis pour lui.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn't Already. Follow him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.