Mel Gurtov: US import duties are not enough to make up for the roughly $28 billion in promised government aid to farmers hurt by the trade war, and China has made up for a good deal of lost business with the US by increasing exports to Europe and Southeast Asia.
Mel Gurtov: The only real history Trump is making is his consistent adoration of dictators and substitution of nice personal exchanges for problem solving.
Mel Gurtov: Trump threatens the adversary with total destruction unless US demands are met, and deploys US forces to the conflict area. The adversary responds with threats of its own.
Mel Gurtov: Iran is doing nothing that constitutes a new threat to US or any other country’s interests, and Iran’s latest actions—even if Tehran is responsible for the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf and the downing of a US drone—are best understood as responses to US provocations.
Mel Gurtov: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, this man will not do to ensure his hold on power, including going to war.
Mel Gurtov: There is no emergency. No evidence has been presented to show that Iran is taking any action that threatens US or any other country’s interests.
John Peeler: This US policy is absolutely inexcusable: It is aggressive and baseless, oblivious to diplomacy, and guaranteed to cause untold hardship and chaos for the people of the region.
Mel Gurtov: Under Trump identity politics has come to the fore, pushing aside the tenets of liberal democracy and respect for diversity.
Mel Gurtov: The American economic story is that wealth inequality increases along with increasing wealth overall. The higher up in the wealth chain one is, and most especially at the top 1 percent of households, the greater the gains in riches.
Mel Gurtov: Two things can be said with certainty about Trump’s 2020 budget request: It is DOA, dead on arrival, in the House; and it is a political document, catering to his loyal supporters, rather than a serious fiscal statement.
Mel Gurtov: Trump’s hard-line advisers, wedded to the demand for “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” (CVID), saw to it that the administration added to sanctions and rejected South Korean proposals for easing their own.
Mel Gurtov: In fall 2018, with Pompeo at the helm, the State Department announced that it would “use the full weight of American economic and diplomatic power to help create the conditions for the restoration of democracy for the Venezuelan people.”
Mel Gurtov: Trump has overplayed his hand, not so much because of the withdrawal of US forces as because he has once again revealed how ego, arrogance, and impulsiveness drive his decision making.