“Trump should stay the course”

This is a link to an article with the title, Trump’s Foreign Policy: The Popping Point of Maximum Pressure. In case you cannot tell from the title, it is very pro-Trump and is written by Victor Davis Hanson. It starts:

Donald Trump promised to shake up U.S. foreign policy. He has certainly done that from the Middle East to Asia. The U.S. is currently engaged in a three-front, maximum-pressure standoff with China, Iran, and North Korea — involving everything from tariffs to possible military action and the strictest sanctions in memory.

If you are in the Deep State, nothing could be worse. Until then, it was Eastasia v Oceania v Eurasia but with the fall of the Soviet Empire, great uncertainty remained. And for some reason, the rising star was China, beloved of the Deep State. Back to VDH.

At first, Trump critics saw these policy recalibrations as either impotent or counterproductive. Pessimists asserted that China, with a population four times the size of the United States’, was fated for world hegemony. Why antagonize those who might soon control our political and economic future?

Bipartisan experts talked not of the heresy of “stopping” China’s ascendance, but of “managing” America’s relative decline. Translated, the implicit policy conceded that the U.S., in its trade concessions, should overlook systematic Chinese trade surpluses, flagrant violations of world commercial norms, neocolonial provocations throughout Asia, stealing U.S. patents and copyrights, product dumping, currency manipulation, and technological appropriation. Supposedly, the more we appeased China through acts of magnanimity, the more they would reciprocate by becoming like us.

The fact is, a centralised economy cannot perform at the highest level. China is no longer full-on communist, but it is more than full-on totalitarian. In the West, there is at least a smidgen of a trace of a memory that economies work best, and innovate more, and raise living standards more certainly and reliably, if the economy is left to the market. So how’s this working out?

The canard was that there was no alternative to appeasement, given China’s more dynamic economy and cold-hearted efficiency — so beloved by progressives when it came to Beijing’s construction by fiat of high-speed rail, shiny airports, and solar and wind farms. Trump, we were told, was a ridiculous Quixote tilting at Chinese windmills, with his 19th-century talk of counterproductive “tariffs” and ossified “trade wars.”

Not now. The U.S. economy is still humming. The stock market is at record highs. Unemployment stays at near-record peacetime lows. Oil and gas production is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination just a few years ago. The Chinese economy, from what we can tell from its state-controlled media and censored state agencies, is slowing down. Human-rights activists are coming out of the shadows to damn China’s reeducation camps. Riots continue in Hong Kong, along with Orwellian surveillance of China’s own citizens at home.

So here we are, Deep State in dismay.

We are entering dangerous territory not because we are losing our trade war with China, but because we are beginning to win it. Xi Jinping not Trump has overplayed his hand. The Chinese know that they cannot end the standoff by returning to the former asymmetrical status quo. Nor can they embrace a new fair relationship — it would be antithetical to the very means by which China obtained its enormous wealth in the first place. Something then has to give.

Continues with a look at Iran and North Korea, both of which are similarly under extreme pressure to conform to Western norms. The conclusion:

In the next few months, we should expect a major provocation from either an increasingly beleaguered Iran or a flummoxed North Korea — and some sort of desperate quid pro quo from China presented as a last chance, a rare and magnanimous offer to stop the tariffs so “we can all just get along.”

Trump should stay the course and not let up until he achieves the original aim of his maximum pressure campaign. Nothing is more dangerous than to enter an existential standoff, feel momentum accruing, and then appease and grant concessions that destroy all prior sacrifice that heretofore had been finally paying off. Instead, he should expect our strapped adversaries at some point to do their worst, and then meet that challenge with our best — and ensure that our adversaries in their decline lack the power to take us down with them.

We shall see. Totalitarian states are hard to remove, and the love of power among those who have it is very strong indeed.

This entry was posted in International. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to “Trump should stay the course”

  1. stackja

    Red China can’t continue half/half. DT is pushing Red China over HK. Xi can’t wait for too long on trade.

  2. struth

    If other western countries immediately pulled out of Paris, unchained themselves from socialist UN envirostrictions, China’s corrupt rise would be thwarted faster and the world would be much safer.
    For the sake of the future peace of the world, we must unshackle from UN socialist rule.
    To save the planet, we actually must wake up to the Climate hoax killing the free west, and fight communism in the market place before we have to on the battlefield.

  3. Jo Smyth

    Donald Trump saw the threat years ago. He and his background supporters started writing a manual. The manual is now being acted upon. It has probably had to be revised and upgraded a few times because of the underhand and illegal attempts at the Coup. Trump is not alone and will prevail. The follow up to The Art of the Deal should be Deal Done.

  4. stackja

    struth
    #3251604, posted on December 4, 2019 at 11:33 am

    League of Nations déjà vu?

  5. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Totalitarian states are hard to remove, and the love of power among those who have it is very strong indeed.
    Kates believes Trump is doing something that would somehow “remove” the leaderships in Iran, North Korea and China. Trumpet delusion syndrome.

  6. Dr Fred Lenin

    The moment the Chinese communist fascists allowed limited capitalism ,to stop from following the Soviets down the tube ,they sowed the seeds of counter communism . The aspirants who got a flat a car and a good job realised that wasn’t enough,they crave freedoms opression ,and this dissent is spreading now .
    I totally agree with Stackja , the West is self destructing influenced by marxists , soros and the global fascists. It amuses me when I think of the snowflake globalists thinking they can use the islamofascists and Chinese Imperialists to gain their own ends ,they would be the first for the chop if their plan succeeded, you dont think those people would put up with their crap?

  7. struth

    Kates believes Trump is doing something that would somehow “remove” the leaderships in Iran, North Korea and China. Trumpet delusion syndrome.

    You sound like you’d be upset if he did.
    Feel threatened Elderly white fella?

  8. Tel

    Suppose North Korea goes open borders all of a sudden. What would happen?

  9. Totalitarian states rarely go down for the count without swinging wildly and lashing out at anyone nearby.
    The demise of the USSR was an exception, we got off lightly.

  10. This is very much what Reagan did to bring down the USSR and the wall, he just kept the pressure up with the arms race until the USSR just couldn’t go on financially anymore.

  11. PB

    A major provocation from Iran? I’m sure Mossad are working on that right this minute.

  12. Mother Lode

    You sound like you’d be upset if he did.
    Feel threatened Elderly white fella?

    Millions may need to perish and tens of millions ground everyday under jackboots to see the old fella’s vision of justice prevail.

    It may require whole nations retreat into a twilight existence, people huddled around a single flame, careful to say nothing because they cannot trust their own families – but if that is what it takes to oust Trump then it is a price he is more than happy for other people to pay.

    He has hope.

  13. JohnL

    The appeasement really worked well in Munich in 1939.

  14. Mother Lode

    I have no doubt the message would be handled carefully by the Chinese government, but any concession by the Hong Kongers may well lead to demands further afield.

    Up until the present ordinary people have probably allowed themselves to be mollified by the progress the country has made and the unifying conviction that they will become the dominant nation on the planet – and this is not a new attitude either.

    But if things slow down and the future falls short of what was promised they may well grow more restive.

    Which will feed into the hands of different opportunists in the Chinese government. That is I would expect ‘reform’ and ‘realignment’ in China to occur.

  15. Chris M

    VHD is an excellent writer.

    Only a few short years ago China was excessively diplomatic in their government communications, you had to dig to figure out the shrouded message. Now they’ve gone full Kim Jong Un with over-the-top bombastic nonsense threats over every trivial thing. Very unhappy people.

  16. Buccaneer

    You sound like you’d be upset if he did.
    Feel threatened Elderly white fella?

    Struth, you might want to revise that to white old fella

  17. Iampeter

    Donald Trump promised to shake up U.S. foreign policy. He has certainly done that from the Middle East to Asia.

    If by “shake up” he means, unprecedented, bumbling incompetence, brazen graft and corruption, along with cowardly appeasement that makes Obama look like he had a backbone, then he certainly has shaken things up indeed.

    Not sure I’d recommend staying the course though…

  18. Iampeter

    and some sort of desperate quid pro quo from China presented as a last chance, a rare and magnanimous offer to stop the tariffs so “we can all just get along.

    I’m sure a Classic economist like Steve is going to point out everything wrong with sentences like this…

    Totalitarian states are hard to remove, and the love of power among those who have it is very strong indeed.

    Especially when Trump admires totalitarians so much and is basically a foreshadowing of things to come.

  19. Faye

    Jo Smyth – “Donald Trump saw the threat years ago. He and his background supporters started writing a manual.”

    Jo I agree, however, Donald Trump was planning his Moves on Everything many years ago. He learnt about the Deep State by mixing with the movers and shakers who thought he was one of them.

    He is disrupting globalism on soooo many fronts. He first had to Make America Great Again by realigning Main Street ahead of Wall Street etc etc to wake up the delinquent countries that he means business and it will hurt.

    There never has been any other leader of the modern world who can come anywhere close to him. He owes no favours and he loves his people. I hope God keeps him safe.

  20. Bronson

    Peteriam get back on your meds man. You’ve lost the plot again (did he ever find it?). Nurse wipe the dribble off his chin and take the key board away from him!

  21. Bruce

    China has its own internal demographic and social “issues”. These are unlikely to go away quietly. The only question is whether they will be “dealt with” discretely and internally, or whether the neighbourhood will find itself engulfed in the collateral damage.

    Given a population of over a Billion, a “displacement” of just two percent of its people will result in twenty million of them going on the road / seas.

    THAT, boys and girls, is the implied threat to anyone contemplating upsetting the Xi cart. This is then leveraged against the immediate neighbours, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia etc. and ultimately, further afield.

    What “management” has in mind for the long-term consequences of the reality of one-child policy remains to be seen. Twenty or thirty MILLION military-age young men who can NEVER find a bride in their own country, are potentially a problem. I somehow doubt they will all end up loitering in the gay bars of Shanghai. A large number of similarly-aged young women who appear to not be too thrilled at the prospect of an “arranged” marriage to a Little Emperor might also be an issue.

    The window for constructive action is rapidly closing. After that, all bets are off.

  22. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    There are quite a few people here who’ve been sold a Sydney Harbour Bridge in their day. For example, Kates thinks Trump is limiting China’s totalitarian moves. Last week Xi Zinping installed even greater party control on State enterprises and created a new media censor vehicle for national propaganda. Meanwhile, Trump sucks up to everyone who’s paying him and his family.

  23. Phill

    Iampeter, your comments, absent evidence, are semantically null.

  24. Lee

    Meanwhile, Trump sucks up to everyone who’s paying him and his family.

    Proof for your libellous statement?

    Not even most of PDT’s enemies are claiming that, or that most people commenting here are “supporters of gangsterism” – as you did the other day – because they are sticking up for Trump.

    You have TDS on steroids.

  25. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Twenty or thirty MILLION military-age young men who can NEVER find a bride in their own country, are potentially a problem.

    Similar demographic imbalances exist in most muddle east/third world shitholes due to their stupid toxic misogynistic “culture”. It’s no coincidence hundreds of thousands of military-age m00zley males suddenly mysteriously appeared in Europe several years ago, all palm oiled up and lookin’ for a bit of action.

  26. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Lee: there’s a book on the subject. But if you want the short version: https://video.foxnews.com/v/5721340937001#sp=show-clips
    BTW, Trump is a gangster who uses Mafia lawyers and Mafia language. People “sticking up” for Trump are ignoring reality and are his biggest asset.

  27. I just had to bring this up to demonstrate how utterly repulsive Their ABC is:

    Donald Trump denies knowing Prince Andrew despite being photographed with him on numerous occasions

    It’s clear what Trump meant by his statement (of course he knows who Prince Andrew is, but he doesn’t know him in a personal way), but Their ABC has to distort as always.

  28. The BigBlueCat

    Especially when Trump admires totalitarians so much and is basically a foreshadowing of things to come.

    It would be helpful to cite some evidence of this. Trump either has 1 year or 5 years to go as POTUS – not even he can change the law to extend his term or become POTUS for life. And as long as there are Congress, the Senate, the US Supreme Court and the US Bureaucracy (esp. the State Department), it’s pretty hard to believe that Trump exerts anything like totalitarian power. But he can certainly abuse the powers conferred upon him by the US Constitution.

    BTW – you do know that Trump is a fan of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged, don’t you? Trump is clearly a Capitalist and certainly into rational self-interest (both being the Left’s main criticisms of him).

  29. Kurt

    ‘Iran wants to goad the US into a confrontation’

    Goes to show that one idiotic sentence and you can completely lose credibility.

  30. Squirrel

    The bi-partisan Congressional support for the recent legislation re Hong Kong suggests that Trump truly has (as the cliche goes) shifted the dial on China – the realisation that China is not just going to become a giant version of Singapore, benignly trading its way to ever greater wealth, seems to be sinking in.

  31. BorisG

    The title of this post suggests that Trump has a coherent course. He has nothing of sorts.

    The U.S. is currently engaged in a three-front, maximum-pressure standoff with China, Iran, and North Korea — involving everything from tariffs to possible military action and the strictest sanctions in memory.

    I wish this were true but it is not. He has indeed strong pressure on Iran (not maximum pressure as he all but ruled out military action suggested by Bolton, but that’s OK). He has appeased North Korea by twice meeting with and praising their tyrant, and has precious little to show for these generous gestures. And he sending mixed messages to China. Just a couple of weeks ago asked why he won’t sign the HK bill, he repso0nded ‘I stand with the brave people of HK. But also stand with Xi’. This is Trump words, not mine. Make what you can make from this. He has now signed the HK bill but uncertainty and confusion remains
    in his foreign policy on China.

    In my globalist view, the way to approach both China and NK is in concert with European and Asian allies, who face similar problems v China on trade, IP, security, pacific policy etc. Instead it appears Trump is closer to Chinese and NK dictators than he is to the US’s allies.

    Sad

  32. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    BorisG; the effective alliance Australia needs to work is the one with the US, India and Japan. The trouble is that while India has finally come around to it, no-one trusts the US to do their bit. That is the price we pay for Trump. It would be devastating for Australia if his crony diplomacy forced Japan into a Chinese web.

Comments are closed.