APRIL 19, 2017
BASED ON THE UNPARALLELED FAREED ZAKARIA’S COLLECTION OF NEWS.
Admit it, Turkey Isn’t Getting in the EU: Becker
Turkey’s referendum should be the final nail in the coffin of the accession process for EU membership, writes Markus Becker for Spiegel Online.
“One popular counter argument is that the EU will lose any of the influence it has in Ankara by breaking off negotiations,” Becker writes. “But where was that influence in 2013 when Erdogan beat down the protests in Gezi Park? Where was it when Erdogan deliberately escalated the conflict with the Kurds as part of a domestic power play? And where was that EU influence when, right after last summer’s military coup attempt, Erdogan had tens of thousands of people rounded up and thrown into jail, including numerous journalists?”
Trump’s troubling call. Fareed says President Trump’s decision to call Erdogan to congratulate him on his referendum victory is a troubling sign at a time when Turkey is facing a “serious descent into authoritarianism.”
“Since the 1930s, Turkey was the one Muslim Middle Eastern country that had established a kind of secular liberal democracy. Now that seems to be unraveling, and yet President Trump’s response was to congratulate the strongman,” Fareed says.
“Contrast that with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who with her foreign minister issued a joint statement basically suggesting to Erdogan that ‘You won very narrowly. You really need to pay attention to the opposition. You need to pay heed to minority rights.’
“So what we have now is a situation where Germany’s chancellor has become the leading proponent of human rights and democracy and liberal constitutionalism, while the President of the United States is just saying ‘way to go.’ This is true for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. It’s true for Erdogan. For Rodrigo Duterte and his drug war in the Philippines.
“It’s disturbing because the great victory of the United States in foreign policy, in a broad sense, over the last six or seven decades has been to spread stability, along with a certain set of values. But here you have those unraveling and the President of the United States is cheering him on.”
Trump’s “Militarization of U.S. Foreign Policy”
President Trump’s recent foreign policy reversals “don’t address one of his administration’s most misguided impulses: The militarization of U.S. foreign policy,” writes James Gibney for Bloomberg View.
“It’s well and good to send a carrier task force…But without U.S. ambassadors in South Korea and Japan, not to mention an assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, the U.S. can’t do the kind of daily consultations and hand-holding needed to reassure allies whose civilian populations would bear the brunt of any North Korean retaliation,” Gibney says.
“…The influence of senior advisers steeped in the region might also have prevented diplomatic gaffes, such as Trump’s parroting of Xi’s line that Korea was once part of China.”
Don’t Panic About North Korean Nukes: Boot
The United States shouldn’t panic about North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons any more than it did China and Russia doing so, suggests Max Boot in Commentary. After all, unlike some other regimes, Kim Jong Un “does not aim to dominate his neighbors. All he wants to do is to survive.”
“By all means, the U.S. should step up sanctions, including secondary sanctions on Chinese companies doing business with the criminal regime in Pyongyang. But there is no overwhelming imperative to go beyond that and risk war, even if North Korea finally fields an ICBM with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching Washington,” Boot says.
Emirates Airline Cuts Flights To U.S., Citing Trump’s Security Rules
April 19, 2017
Emirates Airline says it is reducing its number of U.S.-bound flights because security restrictions imposed by the Trump administration have weakened demand in Middle East countries.
The Dubai-based carrier will pare back flights to five of the 12 U.S. cities it serves. Flights to Boston, Seattle and Los Angeles will be reduced from twice to once daily, and in Florida, daily service to Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale will shrink to five flights a week.
Overall, it’s a reduction of 25 flights per week for the airline, according to The Associated Press.
After Travel Ban, Airlines Scramble To Reroute Crew Members.
After Travel Ban, Airlines Scramble To Reroute Crew Members
“The recent actions taken by the U.S. government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting, and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins, have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the U.S,” Emirates said in a statement announcing the decision.
Last month, the Trump administration announced that passengers on direct flights to the U.S. from eight majority-Muslim countries — Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — must now place electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and cameras in checked baggage.
Those restrictions came on the heels of President Trump’s controversial executive orders in January and early March seeking to temporarily halt travel from several other mostly Muslim nations. Both orders were halted by the courts.
The Dubai International Airport in the UAE, which is Emirates’ hub, is a major transit point for nationals of countries listed in Trump’s travel bans, The Associated Press reports.
THESE ARE CLEARLY UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES FOR TRUMP WHO AS PRESIDENT HAS NOW THE CHANCE AT A NOBEL PRIZE FOR SETTLING THE MIDDLE EAST CANYON. THIS ROAD TO SCANDINAVIA ALSO GOES VIA THE EMIRATES – DUBAI AND ABU-DHABI AND IS BASED ON FULL COOPERATION OF THE SAUDIS.