NORTH KOREA: DONALD TRUMP’S THREATS ARE SPASMS OF A FRIGHTENED LUNATIC

Article originally on India Today:

After a brief hiatus, North Korea has resumed its verbal assault against US President Donald Trump. And the country’s latest jibe at the US President tells the world that his acts are like ‘spasms of a lunatic’.

The trigger behind the latest outburst was Donald Trump’s ‘nuclear button’ tweet on 3rd January. In his typical fashion to exact fire and fury against North Korea through his tweets, Trump hit back on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s claims that the later had a nuclear button on his table and the whole America was in the striking range of his nuclear missiles.

Adding humiliating and stinging words for Kim Jong-un’s and his predecessors’ rule, calling it a depleted and food starved regime, Trump asserted that he, too, had a nuclear button which really worked, and in fact was a much bigger and more powerful one than Kim Jong-un’s.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times’. Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my button works!

– Donald Trump on Twitter

Though it took two weeks for North Korea to hit back, probably due to the recent thaw in ties with South Korea and the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in the South next month, the verbal retort from the country was equally humiliating and stinging, mocking Trump on a scale that could match the buzz created by his tweet a fortnight ago.

A commentary in North Korea’s state-run publication Rodong Sinmun called Trump’s ‘bigger nuclear button’ tweet warning a bluff, ‘just a spasm of a lunatic frightened by the might of North Korea,’ by a person who has the habit and making reckless remarks, “Recently, Trump who is crazy about the hostile policy toward North Korea, has once again stunned the world by twitting that he has a ‘big and strong nuclear button.’ After these reckless remarks were twitted, they have become the target of scoff and criticism.”

Using choicest of words for him, like North Korea has been doing all along, the commentary added, “The spasm of Trump in the New Year reflects the desperate mental state of a loser who failed to check the vigorous advance of the army and people of the DPRK.” Trump’s mental health has been a favourite theme in North Korea’s anti-America propaganda and the country has used terms like ‘psychopath and mentally deranged dotard’.

And like the country has done in past, time and again, alleging Trump of escalating tension and ratcheting up war rhetoric, the commentary further said that the tweet, in fact, revealed who wants peace and who wants a nuclear war, “Experts on the Korean issue said that it is not fitting for the president to put the dangerous and serious issue like a nuclear war on twitter and it is an irresponsible behaviour leading the situation to the brink of a war.”

Trump, in fact, was widely panned after this ‘nuclear button’ tweet. Critics said the tweet would needlessly provoke North Korea at a time when the North had declared itself a nuclear power and the possibility of a nuclear war was more real than ever.

Also, after persistent demand from different quarters, Twitter, in fact, had to issue clarification that Trump’s tweet did not violate rules against abusive behaviour.

NORTH KOREA AND THE US

Tension between North Korea and the US has heightened to unprecedented levels since Donald Trump became US President last year.

Trump has been an advocate of adopting tough measures against the North, a rogue nation that is seen as a terror sponsor and nuclear proliferator.

Last year’s successful inter-continental ballistic missile and nuclear tests by the North only added to it.

Comments like ‘North Koreans will be met with fire and fury this world has never seen before’ or ‘the rocket-man or madman, Trump’s inventions for Kim Jong-un, will be tested like never before’ are common.

The North, in response, has its own range of words for Trump like ‘a gangster fond of playing with fire’, ‘unprecedented rude nonsense’, ‘frightened dog’, ‘psychopath’, ‘mentally deranged dotard’ or the latest one, ‘spasms of a lunatic’.

©SantoshChaubey

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NATION FEELING BETRAYED BY US, WILL NOT SEEK REDEMPTION OF AID: PAKISTAN ARMY CHIEF

The article originally appeared on India Today. 

Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that entire Pakistan is feeling betrayed over recent statements from the US questioning Pakistan’s credibility and commitment in the war against terror and the unanimous national response denouncing the US stand was a reflection of that.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistan Armed Forces media wing, General Bajwa conveyed the prevailing sentiment in Pakistan to General Joseph L Votel, Commander, US Central Command (CENTCOM) during a phone call last week. CENTCOM’s area of responsibility includes 20 nations, from Northeast Africa across the Middle East to Central and South Asia including Afghanistan and Iraq.

General Bajwa said Pakistan will not seek resumption of US aid and will continue with counter terrorism efforts on its own but his country did expect an honourable recognition of its contributions, sacrifices and unwavering resolve in fight against terrorism.

General Bajwa also reiterated the routine Pakistani allegation that US was making it a scapegoat to hide its own failures in Afghanistan.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor @OfficialDGISPR
Comd USCENTCOM & a US Senator telephoned COAS to discuss security coop post POTUS tweet. “Entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed on trivialising our decade old cooperation. We won’t ask for restoration of financial assistance but honourable recognition of our contributions”, COAS.
4:16 PM – 12 Jan 2018

After US President Donald Trump’s declaration of no more US aid to Pakistan and the subsequent follow up steps and statements from the US Administration calling Pakistan a liar, a deceitful country that employs terror as state policy, there has been a rush of reactions from the Pakistani leadership, both military and civilian.

They say they don’t need US aid and in fact, have spent multiple times of the US aid in the ongoing war against terrorism. They have started alleging that the US has been an ally who has always betrayed. The Pakistani leadership also sees an Indian hand in all this and warns the US from giving India a prominent role in Afghanistan. Pakistan has also suspended intelligence and military cooperation with the US.

The US, on the contrary, feels betrayed by Pakistan’s double-dealings and treachery.

On many occasions, Donald Trump and his government’s senior ministers and officials have spoken openly against Pakistan that how it backstabs the US by harbouring the terror groups that harm US and other coalition forces in Afghanistan. The US has also described Pakistan a safe haven for terrorists in its official records including the Country Report on Terrorism and the Narendra Modi – Donald Trump Joint Statement last year.

Apart from economic and military aid, the US also reimburses Pakistan under the Coalition Support Fund for its expenditure incurred on action against terror groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network. But of late, it has started withholding the Fund, alleging that Pakistan has not taken any concrete action against these terror groups.

The US frustration was summed up in the New Year Day tweet by Trump where he slammed Pakistan for giving safe haven to terrorists the US hunts in Afghanistan in spite of receiving more than $33 Billion in US aid over the last 15 years. He then declared that Pakistan would not receive any more US aid.

Following Trump’s tweet, US has withheld $255 Million military financial package to Pakistan for fiscal year 2016 and $900 Million Coalition Support Fund for 2017, the White House has formally asked the country to do more against terror and a US senator is bringing bill to stop all aid to Pakistan and move has been endorsed by Trump.

©SantoshChaubey

PAKISTAN CHANTS DEATH TO AMERICA, WILL INTRODUCE BILL TO STOP US AID: SENATOR RAND PAUL

The article originally appeared on India Today on 5 January.

A Republican US Senator has said that he would soon introduce a bill to end US aid to Pakistan.

Rand Paul who represents Kentucky in the US Senate posted a video on Twitter and YouTube in which he said Pakistan had always back-stabbed the United States and should not receive even a penny of US taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

He says the US should not give even one penny to countries like Pakistan, that burn the American flag and chant death to America.

He asserts that countries like Pakistan that stonewall access to information in fighting terrorism don’t deserve American money and goes on to appeal, “I say we should stop now sending the hard-earned tax dollars to Pakistan. We have sent Pakistan over $33 Billion since 2002. What did we get for it?”

Highlighting Pakistan’s double-dealings and treachery, he further says, “Pakistan didn’t help us even in finding Osama bin Laden even though he was living in one of their cities for years. Then they jailed the informant who helped us get bin Laden. They have allowed suspected terrorist to operate from their country. Some say Pakistani intelligence agents actually aid and abate terrorists. It is wrong.”

Citing US President Donald Trump’s New Year Day announcement a breakthrough, that enough was enough and no more aid to Pakistan as the country had only lied and deceived America in the name of helping in the war on terror in spite of receiving $33 Billion of US aid in last 15 years, Rand says he is going to introduce a bill in coming days to end aid to Pakistan.

“President Trump has publicly called to end their aid, and is currently holding up over $200 million of it. I want to end all of it and I am introducing a bill to do just that in coming days”, he added.

He says his bill intends to take the money that would have gone to Pakistan and put it in an infrastructure fund to build roads and bridges back at home.

In another video message posted on YouTube that shows people in Pakistan burning Indian, American and Israeli flags and demonstrating against Donald Trump, Senator Paul asks some tough questions.

He says the continued US gesture makes no sense, “What I find particularly troubling is, US continues to give money to Pakistan over a billion dollar of taxpayers’ money, to a country that imprisons the gentleman, the physician who helped us get Osama bin Laden” and concludes that as Pakistan only understands negotiation from strength so he is proposing a vote on ending aid to the country.

Senator Rand Paul has been fighting to end US aid to countries like Pakistan and in fact came up with a bill to stop US aid to the Palestinian authority in 2015. And the time seems opportune this time as both, Pakistan and Palestine, are on Donald Trump’s radar.

President Trump has threatened to stop US aid to Palestine as well.

After Trump’s New Year Day shocker, his administration has, in fact, increased pressure on Pakistan manifold and the message is clear, shape in or shape out.

First America withheld a scheduled $255 million military financial assistance to Pakistan the same day Trump tweeted his intent. Then White House came with a statement asking Pakistan to do more in the war on terror.

Yesterday it sent Pakistan a list of 27 Haqqani Network terrorists and demanded action against them by 15 January and shortly before Rand Paul’s video message, in another decisive blow to Pakistan, announced that it was suspending all military, technological and financial assistance to Pakistan till it shows proof that it has taken decisive action against terrorists.

©SantoshChaubey

GOOD IDEA! SAYS DONALD TRUMP ON BILL TO END ALL FINANCIAL AID TO PAKISTAN

The article originally appeared on India Today. 

US President Donald Trump has supported the move by his party’s Senator Rand Paul to bring a bill in the US Congress to end all financial assistance to Pakistan.

Trump, while retweeting Rand Paul’s tweet this morning about bringing such a proposal, said it was a good idea. Rand Paul, a Republican Senator had tweeted yesterday that he was going to introduce a bill to end all aid to Pakistan.

Donald J. Trump Retweeted Senator Rand Paul

Rand Paul posted a video message along with his tweet where he voiced concern over Pakistan’s double-dealings and treachery saying the US should not give even a penny to Pakistan. He says the US should stop wasting taxpayers’ hard-earned money on a country that prides in burning the American flag and chanting death to America. Instead, the money can put to better use here, in America, he adds.

Rand Paul narrates how Pakistan has betrayed America, “Pakistan didn’t help us even in finding Osama bin Laden even though he was living in one of their cities for years. Then they jailed the informant who helped us get bin Laden. They have allowed suspected terrorist to operate from their country. Some say Pakistani intelligence agents actually aid and abate terrorists.”

2018 has come as a shocker for US-Pakistan ties. On the New Year Day, Donald Trump announced on Twitter that from now onward no more US aid to Pakistan. His blunt declaration called Pakistan a lying and deceitful country that had betrayed the American trust by sheltering the terrorists who harm US interests in Afghanistan in spite of receiving $33 Billion over the last 15 years.

Trump’s tweet began a rapid downward spiral in US-Pakistan ties that was already strained after Trump’s inaugural as the President of America last year. Trump has been a vocal Pakistan critic highlighting Pakistan’s betrayals like housing Osama bin Laden, Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, the terror groups on the radar of the US.

Soon after Trump’s New Year Day tweet, the US announced to withhold military financial assistance to Pakistan worth $255 Million and yesterday, it announced to suspend all aid to Pakistan, technological and financial, till Pakistan came out clean on its responsibility to wipe out all forms of terror emanating from its soil. Since the New Year Day, the White House has released a formal statement demanding Pakistan to do more against terror and has handed over a list of 27 Haqqani Network terrorists against whom it wants action by 15 January.

©SantoshChaubey

AFTER HIGHLIGHTING WHY ROY MOORE SHOULD WIN, TRUMP EXHORTS HIM TO ‘GO, GET DEMOCRATS’

Hours after his strongest defense of Roy Moore yet, the controversial Republican nominee for the United States Senate election who has even been refuted by many Republicans, US President Donald Trump formally endorsed him in a phone call, pushing the Republican National Committee (RNC) to resume campaign ties with Moore which it had severed last month after allegations by many women that Moore sexually abused them when they were minors.

Trump’s formal endorsement of Roy Moore extended the line of strong views on why he was supporting Moore. Trump exhorted Moore to ‘go, get them (his Democratic rivals)’ after letting America, the world and Moore’s Republican critics know why a Moore victory was a crisis issue for Trump and his party (the Republican Party).

Linking Moore’s victory to the successful implementation of the Republican agenda in the US Congress, Trump highlighted that how the refusal of the Democrats was obstructing the passage of many Republican legislative reforms including the new US tax code. The Republic tax code has divided the US society with many strongly disapproving it. Democrats are calling it a scam that would benefit only wealthy Americans and corporations. “Democrats’ refusal to give even one vote for massive tax cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, border wall, military, pro life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more,” Trump wrote on Twitter highlighting the Republican legislative agenda.

Targetting the Democrat nominee Doug Jones, a former attorney, Trump called him a puppet of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the minority leaders in the US Congress. “Putting Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet Jones into office in Alabama would hurt our great Republican Agenda of low on taxes, tough on crime, strong on military and borders…and so much more. Look at your 401-k’s since Election. Highest Stock Market ever! Jobs are roaring back!” Trump wrote further on Twitter.

Roy Moore is former chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. His life and career have been controversial and it is not just these sexual abuse allegations that he has vehemently denied. He was who was removed twice from his position of chief justice for abusing his position to take contrary positions from established judicial norms. Trump has defended Moore to garner more numbers in the US Congress to support his agenda that even many Republican don’t follow. For the record, he says as Moore has denied all allegations against him and nothing has been proved, so there is no case.

Moore, who is nicknamed ‘The Ten Commandments Judge’ for installing a Ten Commandment granite monument in a judicial building for which he was punished, is a hardliner like Trump whose first indication on supporting Moore was the statement that “we don’t need liberals there (in the US Congress). Moore says the US Congress should not have Muslim members and calls homosexuality illegal despite the US Supreme Court making it legal a long back. The Senate election from Alabama is due on December 12 and was necessitated after resignation of Jeff Sessions in February this year after he was appointed US Attorney General by Trump.

©SantoshChaubey

TRUMP BATS FOR ROY MOORE, IN HIS STRONGEST DEFENSE YET

In his strongest defense yet of Roy Moore, the controversial Republican nominee for the United States Senate from Alabama, US President Donald Trump has linked the victory of Moore to successful implementation of the Republican agenda.

Tying Moore’s election from the state, represented by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier, with numbers game in the US Congress, Trump highlighted that how the refusal of the Democrats was obstructing the passage of the new US tax code that Republican consider a sweeping reform. The Republic tax code has divided the US society with many strongly disapproving it. Democrats are calling it a scam that would benefit only wealthy Americans and corporations.

With the Senate passing the new US tax code this Friday, both chambers of the US Congress, including the House, have passed the legislation that intends to introduce sweeping structural reforms to the taxation practices in the US. The legislation will also be the first major legislative victory for the Republicans who have failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, their long-term agenda and one of the main campaign promises, despite their numerical dominance in the US Congress, indicating that their own house is not in order.

Batting for Moore, former chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and a controversial figure who was removed twice from his position and who is also facing allegations of being involved in sexual abuse on minor girls, Trump targeted the Democrat nominee Doug Jones, a former attorney, without naming him. He called him a puppet of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the minority leaders in the US Congress, whose election would further hurt the Republican agenda of introducing measures on lowering taxes, tougher laws on crime, stopping illegal immigration, strengthening military and defending the US borders.

Trump has defended Moore to garner more numbers in the US Congress to support his agenda that even many Republican don’t follow. For the record, he says as Moore has denied all allegations against him and nothing has been proved, so there is no case.

Moore, who is nicknamed ‘The Ten Commandments Judge’ for installing a Ten Commandment granite monument in a judicial building for which he was punished, is a hardliner like Trump who endorsed his nomination saying “we don’t need liberals there (in the US Congress). Moore says the US Congress should not have Muslim members and calls homosexuality illegal despite the US Supreme Court making it legal a long back and says.

The Senate election from Alabama is due on December 12 and was necessitated after resignation of Sessions in February this year after he was appointed US Attorney General by Trump.

©SantoshChaubey

ONLY TRUMP CAN DO IT! HUMILIATES AND LECTURES JAPAN WHILE IN JAPAN!

US President Donald Trump is known for routinely exceeding his brief, adding improvisations to his prepared speech that normally land his team in trouble and this time it has come from Japan which is Trump’s first strop during his 12-day five nation Asian tour. The other countries on Trump’s itinerary are China, Vietnam, South Korea and The Philippines.

Trump was addressing a news conference in Tokyo today and everything was going fine till he was reading from his prepared speech. But the moment he took a detour, it all came crashing down when Trump spoke something that not only stunned the members of his delegation but also humiliated his host, the Japanese.

While the prepared speech of Trump was praising Japan’s economy, his impromptu addition took a different track which not only showed Japan’s economy in poor light but also humiliated the country’s pride dragging in undue comparison between Japan’s and US’ economies.

“I don’t know if Japan’s economy is as good as ours. I think not. OK? We’re going to try to keep it that way. And you’ll be second,” an MSNBC report* quoted Trump saying. Certainly not a diplomatic finesse, especially when the host country is a major global power, your friend and an important ally.

Trump’s impromptu addition to his speech reiterated another of Trump’s characteristics, that he doesn’t care for facts while speaking out his mind. He said Japanese economy can only be second to the US economy while the fact is China overtook Japan as the world’s second largest economy in 2011 and will be bigger than even the US economy well before 2030, a study* by PricewaterhouseCoopers says. Even India’s economy will overtake the US economy by 2050.

Trump did not stop at it. He also lectured Japan to remilitarise, procure weapons from the US and shoot down North Korean missiles. In spite of sanctions, North Korea has developed the inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) threatening to hit the US mainland. The rogue nation facing tough UN Security Council and global sanctions has also detonated a hydrogen bomb and has declared itself a nuclear power. It recently fired two missiles over Japan.

“Abe will shoot them out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of additional military equipment from the United States. The prime minister is going to be purchasing massive amounts of military equipment, as he should. And we make the best military equipment by far,” Trump said* after his summit with Abe.

And then Trump came to his favourite, America’s trade imbalance with countries like China, Japan and Germany. These three countries account for $483 billion of the trade deficit the US has with the top slot goes to China with which the US has a trade deficit of $349 billion followed by Japan ($69 billion) and German ($65 billion).

While addressing the business community, Trump declared Japan had not reciprocated in the same way as the US did when it came to trade ties but now Trump was working on to correct it*, “We want free and reciprocal trade but right now our trade with Japan is not free and it’s not reciprocal and I know it will be and we’ve started the process.” An ingenious way that Trump suggested the Japanese to lower the trade deficit burden the US had was to buy more and more military hardware from the US.

He also committed another factual blunder. He asked the Japanese carmakers to come to the US to manufacture and sell their cars instead of exporting them*, “Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so” while the fact is 75 per cent of Japanese cars or three out of four sold in America are built in North America.

©SantoshChaubey

TRUMP’S RATINGS

US President Donald Trump has had consistently low approval ratings ever since inaugural of his government on January 20 this year. A latest approval rating (Marist College Institute of Public Opinion) released two days ago found 58 per cent of its respondents strongly disapproving the Trump Administration while another 20 per cent opined that Trump would be known as an average president.

Earlier, a poll result (Morning Consult) on October 18 had found Trump’s approval rating dipping in all of 50 US states, many of which he had won with large margins. At 37.8 per cent, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight analysis shows Trump’s approval rating are still hovering around the crisis of being historically low. And this has been the case right from Trump’s first month in the White House. No authentic poll can found him on a good standing. Polls, in fact, have found him to be the least popular US president ever since such statistical practices began to keep gauge of them.

Another marker of people’s trust in Trump administration is the way it has handled the aftermath of three big hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria. According to a CNN poll, a September poll found Trump rating at 64 per cent after Harvey and Irma but it drastically came down to 44 per cent after Maria hurricane which ravaged Puerto Rico and millions are still looking for proper rehabilitation, after a month the hurricane hit. Trump, in fact, was panned for his inhuman comments that he made multiple times on Puerto Rican debt when the residents of the US territory in the Caribbean were staring at

But like always happens, like Trump always dismisses such polls, and in fact anything and everything that criticises him, Trump again tweeted today to claim all such developments as fake news efforts and like he always does, tried to shield behind stock market or job creation figures though it is debatable how much of it is due to the efforts of his administration.

And people who dump Trump are right there, we can see them if we see the comment thread of Trump’s tweet. The first comment says the stock market has been “following the same trend for the past 8 years” while the next one thanks Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama for it, “When the stock market breaks the current trend-line that Obama started 8 years ago, then you can take some credit. Until then, Thanks Obama!” The thread comment is full of views that Trump is bragging about something that ideally has been a trend for years and Trump has no claims to fame here.

©SantoshChaubey

PREET BHARARA JOINS BOB CORKER IN MOCKING TRUMP FOR THREATENING NEWS NETWORKS

The article originally appeared on India Today on October 12.

Preet Bharara, former US Attorney and a known critic of US President Donald Trump, mocked him for trying to threaten news networks. Bharara was appointed by Barack Obama as US Attorney for Manhattan where he served for many years before being fired by Trump this March, a fact that Bharara has mentioned in his Twitter bio.

While replying to a tweet where Trump indicated he might challenge broadcast license of media houses, Bharara quipped, “Adult day care shift alert, please report for duty”, in an apparent reference to Republican Senator Bob Corker, a supporter-turned-critic of Trump, who has called the US president a political novice whose outbursts have become so routine that the White House has become an adult day care centre.

Bob Corker heads the powerful US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and has been a strong anti-Trump voice on issues like Trump Administration’s handling of the North Korean nuclear crisis and the changes Trump is trying to make to the US tax regime. Trump and Corker are engaged in a bitter war of words these days and they routinely exchange barbs.

Bharara also questioned if it was possible to a get a ruling it happens so tagging Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency that regulates the media and communications industry in the US.

Earlier in the day, Trump had blasted the NBC News alleging it for producing a fake story which said Trump had asked for tenfold rise in US nuclear arsenal in a meeting with national security officials earlier this summer after which Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, had termed him a “moron”.

While dismissing the row if Tillerson really called him a moron, Trump said in an interview yesterday, “I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.” And today, in a series of tweets, he complained that the NBC report was “pure fiction, meant to demean.

©SantoshChaubey