Trump Says He’s ‘Postponing’ Israel Trip, Netanyahu Meeting

Trump’s response to Netanyahu is very interesting news, as this is in some ways Trump’s first real action in the field of foreign policy as a possible President. And this is rough politics, and an open threat, and a stark contrast to Obama & Kerry’s style.

It’s also Trump starting to wield more power, one year before maybe formally gaining the position, and Israel will be listening.


A day after being criticized by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his comments about Muslims, Donald Trump abruptly announced Thursday that he is "postponing" a planned trip to Israel and rescheduling a meeting with the country’s leader until "after I become President of the U.S."

Trump had previously promised to travel to Israel before the end of the year, and he was slated to meet with Netanyahu on December 28.

He tweeted the announcement early Thursday.

"I have decided to postpone my trip to Israel and to schedule my meeting with @Netanyahu at a later date after I become President of the U.S."

On Wednesday, Netanyahu rebuked Trump for his suggestion that the United States should place a temporary ban on Muslim entrants to the country.


Why is Elizabeth Warren in Israel

Two posts on Warren today..
But if… she proves to be competent and productive on foreign policy and diplomacy.. things can very quickly change in the landscape..
Her reportedly strong support of Israel would most likely be clever politics and not her personal conviction..

Elizabeth Warren’s trip to Israel and other Middle East countries is likely more an indication of the senator’s fast rise within the Democratic Party than a sign that she is rethinking her political future, longtime Democratic observers of the Massachusetts senator said Monday.

Warren is the lone lawmaker on the trip organized by the State Department and the Senate Banking Committee, of which she is a member. She will be meeting with officials from the Israeli and Jordanian governments, the Palestinian Authority, United Nations groups and USAID. Warren will also meet with troops from Massachusetts serving in the Middle East.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Warren met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

Mitt Romney Spain Quip Adds To Foreign Policy Troubles

This was lost between the job numbers and Obama’s reluctant debate participation – but it’s a reminder of Romneys earlier international gaffes and his habit of thoughtless comments. Just like he has rallied a united conservative Britain against himself after the Olympics, he’s now making new enemies in Europe – very unnecessarily.

Mitt Romney Spain Quip Adds To Foreign Policy Troubles:

Mitt Romney Spain Quip Adds To Foreign Policy Troubles

By BRADLEY KLAPPER 10/07/12 10:35 AM ET EDT 

Mitt Romney Spain

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during his debate with US President Barack Obama at Magness Arena at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, October 3, 2012. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages)

WASHINGTON — If Mitt Romney becomes president, he might need a crash course in Diplomacy 101.

He irritated Britons and Palestinians during a summer tour abroad and has declared Russia to be America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. Just last week, the Republican candidate, who plans a foreign policy speech Monday, raised eyebrows in Spain by holding it up as a prime example of government spending run amok.

That left Spaniards confused, and threatened to reinforce Romney’s perceived handicap in international affairs, precisely at a time when lingering questions over the Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has President Barack Obama on the defensive.

“I don’t want to go down the path of Spain,” Romney said Wednesday night during the first presidential debate. He argued that government spending under Obama has reached 42 percent of the U.S. economy, a figure comparable with America’s NATO ally. “I want to go down the path of growth that puts Americans to work.”

The remark was Romney’s latest to cause international offense during a campaign that much of the world is closely monitoring. (..)

Spanish reaction to Romney was swift.

What I see is ignorance of what is reality, but especially of the potential of the Spanish economy,” said Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

Maria Dolores Cospedal, leader of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party, noted that “Spain is not on fire from all sides like some on the outside have suggested.” Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo called it “very unfortunate that other countries should be put up as examples” when the facts are skewed. (…)


Leading from behind.

Creative language from WH insiders.

NyPost reports:

At a recent gathering in New York, a writer with ties to the British government reported that the view from the other side of the pond is that “the leader of the free world doesn’t want to lead the free world.”

On this side of the pond, a member of the Obama team inadvertently confirms that view. An anonymous official tells The New Yorker magazine that, in Libya, the president is “leading from behind.”

There is another word for “leading from behind.” It’s “following.”


Kissinger on the President’s Decision-Making Process.

Dr. Kissinger wraps up his book with some pragmatic advice for the WH policy-making processes. Among the general guidelines are a clear purpose, a thought-through analysis of consequences, and the fine art of striking the right balance between gathering information and acting before it’s too late.

President Ford discusses Vietnam with Kissinger, Martin, General Wayland and Scowcroft.

From his memoirs in Years of Renewal:


Because our Constitution confers extraordinary powers on the President, there can be no absolute rules as to how policy should be formulated or conducted; some scope must be left for the chief executive’s personality and psychological makeup. Nevertheless, I would distill certain general principles from what I have observed or studied.

Continue reading

Foreign Affairs and the Tea Party.

The main essay this edition (March/April) is devoted to the Tea Party and Foreign Policy, written by Walter Russel Mead.

Just some short reflections.

He writes extensively about the Jacksonian Spirit of America, originally built on colonial romantics, and how that at the moment is transformed into the Tea Party Movement with over 100 million sympethizers. No mention of business agenda. No mention of two multi-billionaires from oil funding the movement. No mention of the contradictorary economic implications for the sympathizers.

He treats cable noise as legitimate political viewpoints and serious statements.

He swipes at Truman for playing fear to push agenda of Marshall Help and Truman Doctrine (stop Soviets from taking Turkey and Greece), resulting in blowback from Joe McCarthy and the paranoid 50s.

He ends up with some sort of acknowledging the Tea Party as a voice of grass-roots american independence and jacksonian spirit, when they in fact are a plain tool of the corporate monopoly.

There’s also a mess of connecting tea party sentiments into shifting winds of US foreign policy and isolationist traditions.

The essay ends nowhere. The Tea Party must be reckoned with or something. Or the underlying force of everyday commonsense americans angry at things. But, it spurred some thoughts, and might ignite further interesting debate about american politics and where to go from todays crossroads. A plus for building creative tensions and putting it on the serious agenda. But the tea party is a corporate force.

EU pressure on Israel.

It might look like the tides are turning – as Israel is under increasing pressure to accept the ’67 borders for Palestine and withdraw from the settlements..

From Haaretz:

BRUSSELS – The European Union is telling Israel that growing instability in the Middle East makes it imperative to immediately resume the stalled peace process with the Palestinians.

Hungary’s foreign minister Janos Martonyi, whose country currently chairs the EU, told his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday that time is pressing and that the Israeli-Palestinian talks remain the core issue.