Cuba Foreign affairs Foreign policy Iran Israel Korea Obama Truth

The Calamity That Was Obama’s Foreign Policy Is On Full Display

Rod Thomson

That President Barack Obama’s foreign policy was weak and destructive has been evident to most non-partisan observers for a long time.

But with Israel’s bombshell announcement on Iran’s ongoing nuclear weapons program, the scale of the failure is coming into full light. Only his most ardent and blinded supporters can still be defending the Iran deal and the rest of his foreign policy disasters.

We knew the Iran deal was bad for regional safety and good for an expansion of terrorism. But there was still the thin thread of hope that it could work for at least delaying Iran’s nuclear weapon program. That hope is now revealed as a fool’s errand.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs during his blockbuster news conference, outlining Iran’s duplicity and threat. His presentation of the evidence (verified by U.S. intelligence services) found that Iran lied repeatedly to the IAEA about its weapons program before and during the Iran deal. It showed how after the deal, Iran continued and continues to pursue nuclear weapons research under the fiction of scientific research. And he showed that Iran maintained its atomic research archives for when it could continue building its nuclear weapons program full-scale.

Netanyahu said: “The mission statement is to design, produce and test five warheads with 10 kiloton of TNT yield for integration on missiles.”

So as suspected and now proven, the Iranian nuclear deal was a sham from the beginning. But the deal is just one piece of the disastrous puzzle of Obama’s foreign policy. Here’s the rest of the calamities that must be dealt with.

Help Us In Our Fight For American Values!

➙ Syria. When Syrian President Assad crossed Obama’s red line on the use of chemical weapons and Obama did nothing, that emboldened Assad to be more aggressive and let ISIS know that the United States was toothless under Obama. They were free to slaughter at will and they did. Further, it was an invitation to Putin’s Russia to return to Syria with military force.

➙ Iraq. The precipitous withdrawal of U.S. troops after finally stabilizing the country at the cost of considerable amounts of American blood, opened the door to ISIS’ bloody expansion from northern Syria into Northern Iraq, and Iran’s movement into the country from the east. Iran’s cash windfall from the nuclear deal has helped fund its aggression in Iraq, along with Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. The cost in lives has been staggering.

➙ Libya. Obama, leading from behind with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, used American air power to help overthrow the only dictator who had voluntarily given up his nuclear weapons program after 9-11. Learning nothing from Iraq, Obama and Clinton amazingly had no plan for what would come after the overthrow. So what the world got was another failed state and haven for ISIS and other terrorist groups, and a launching point for Muslim refugees into Europe.

➙ Israel. The one free, democratic ally of America in the Middle East was abysmally treated by Obama as one of several key relationships with our allies he degraded. Further, and ironically, he meddled in an Israeli national election with the goal of defeating Netanyahu and created a toxic taste in this vitally important relationship.

And this was all just in the Middle East.

Like Us On Facebook

➙ North Korea. The kick the can down the road, do-nada approach to foreign policy with North Korea allowed for the continued expansion of a new generation of nuclear weapons and missile delivery options that has put America’s West Coast under a nuclear threat. This should never have been allowed, but a weak president with no foreign policy plan and no will to do anything difficult or risky, just ignored it.

➙ Russia. The Russian reset is one of the most spectacular, high-profile failures of the Obama administration. There was the infamous red button that the Russian foreign minister and Hillary Clinton jointly pushed that was supposed to reset the supposedly terrible relationship left by Bush (and tweak Bush in the process.) Instead, it opened the door to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East. It’s not even clear if that was just incompetence as Obama’s also infamous 2012 “more flexibility after the election” comment to Russia’s president was caught on a hot mic and indeed, his flexibility apparently meant let Russia do whatever it wanted.

➙ China. Obama’s do-nothing foreign policy with America’s enemies continued in Asia where he acquiesced to China’s military expansionism and failed to respond in any real way to China cheating on trade agreements and blackmailing American companies at the cost of billions of dollars and who knows how many American jobs. This one doubles as a foreign and domestic policy failure.

➙ Venezuela and Cuba. Cuddling up to, and praising Cuba and Venezuela as the Socialist/Communist countries spiraled into economic chaos and even starvation showed a certain cluelessness, or socialist sympathy. Obama did not cause their disasters — socialism and tyranny did that — but he seemed blind to this reality. His admiring speeches and gestures towards the Castros and Hugo Chavez enabled the strongman regimes to continue to oppress their people and sustain the grueling and unnecessary poverty.

Our Revolutionary Youtube Site

This is hardly an exhaustive list, but large enough to make the case painfully clear that the Obama administration was an abysmal failure on the foreign policy stage. As we saw in the Jimmy Carter years, the world cannot afford such incompetence and miserable worldviews from America.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy.  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


Iran Journalism Korea Media Russia Trump Truth

Washington Post Blunders On Trump Foreign Policy

Rod Thomson

Washington Post Senior Political Reporter Aaron Blake recently wrote an article that was run in newspapers around the nation under, Trump’s Foreign Policy Chaos. In related news, a recent CNN Poll reported Trump’s approval rating at 42 percent while his disapproval stands at 54 percent.

These are related because one leads directly to the other, but both are wrong. Relentlessly negative reporting by the media leads its consumers by the nose into disapproving of the President. Partisan focus on Stormy Daniels and Russian collusion and other nonsense obfuscates the enormous successes of the presidency so far. Sure, his approvals are up a few points, but based on actual performance, they should be much higher.

However, just scoffing at this dynamic is a mistake. This drives elections. Conservative media must be just as relentless in getting out the truth about Trump successes, about conservative successes, about the traditional American successes. Because the other side, which definitively includes the traditional media, will push out the failures and misrepresent the successes.

The gist of Blake’s criticism (remember, he is labeled as reporter, not columnist or opinionist) is that Trump “can’t stick to a foreign policy script or even general guidelines.” This, of course, is a terrible breach of “the way things are done” for folks inside the Beltway. But Trump was elected to do things differently than the way they have been done.

Contrary to the impression given by Blake and the rest to those who imbibe oldstream reporting, the world is actually becoming a significantly better place since Donald Trump was elected and took foreign policy in a different direction.

This is just objectively true. It’s not blind Trump or Republican loyalty. The world is demonstrably better off in most every respect than when Obama left office — something Aaron Blake and his kin are simply unwilling or unable to see.

But we are.

So here are seven areas that have objectively improved since President Trump was elected in November 2016 and inaugurated in January 2017 — regardless of whether he followed script or not:

Help Us Fight For American Values!


✓ ISIS is decapitated. This bloody stain on the world arose in the vacuum left by President Obama’s foolish decision to abruptly withdraw American troops from Iraq before that country was able to stand on its own. His decision resulted in the rapid collapse of the infant democratic government in Iraq and the sweeping successes of ISIS.

ISIS’ sadistic methods for torturing and murdering anyone not pure enough in their version of Islam was spreading around the world, and the so-called caliphate was occupying large parts of two countries under Obama. It was the first and so far only actual terrorist nation — as opposed to those such as Iran, which is an existing nation that is considered a sponsor of terrorism.

Within a year of Trump’s inauguration, the caliphate was gone, and ISIS has almost no land holdings anymore. They have been relegated to the status of a terrorist organization, such as Al-Quaeda and dozens of others.

Like Us On Facebook


✓ Russia is contained. During the Obama Administration, Russia greatly expanded its geographic reach and influence. It invaded and annexed Crimea and Obama did nothing. It’s proxies invaded Eastern Ukraine and Obama did nothing. It threatened the Baltic nations and Obama did nothing. It jumped into the breach left in the Middle East and re-established itself with its ally Syria in the midst of the nation’s terrible civil war, and Obama did nothing. Finally, Obama was aware of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, and he did nothing.

All of this came after Obama was infamously caught on a hot mic openly colluding with Russia against American interests by telling then-President Medvedev that Obama would have “more flexibility” after the 2012 elections.

Trump has twice now attacked Syrian government military installations after the use of banned chemical weapons, over the protests and threats of Russia and President Putin. He’s placed sanctions on Russian individuals and then on Russia as a whole after the blatant attempted chemical assassination in England. Putin has been much more restrained in his expansionist goals.


✓ North Korea is talking. This dangerous mess had been kicked down the road by several presidents, including Clinton, Bush and Obama. It always seemed a nasty bit of business with all sorts of dangers even before the North got nukes — specifically because China was an ally. So the world kept buying off the North with supplies for its starving population and resources for its nuclear program. They would have been easier to stop earlier, but none did. Now the North has larger nukes and much more advanced missile delivery systems and is more bellicose than ever.

However, that belligerence eased when Trump responded forcefully by telling the North that no aggression against America or her allies would be tolerated, and backed it up by sending two aircraft carrier groups to the region. Further, the North saw that this president did not make empty threats or draw red lines he would not back up. He’d already attacked Russian allies once, killing Russians in the process, and was reinforcing our allies in Eastern Europe.

The result is that for the first time, it appears the North is willing to have actual talks, not just blackmail sessions. Kim Jong Un crossed into South Korea for brief talks and requested to talk to Trump, who has agreed and already sent CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with the North. This is potentially huge.

Our Revolutionary Youtube Site


✓ China is re-negotiating. Part of the reason the North is willing to budge is also that Trump has been applying the screws to China on trade issues and this emerging power apparently does not want to get into a sanctions war and a military confrontation at the same time with the United States. China has long been violating our trade agreements — costing American jobs far beyond simply losing out to cheap labor — and shaking down American businesses as the price of entry.

Trump had enough. He immediately scrapped the trade deal that Obama had negotiated — which almost assuredly would have given away the store. And now he has instituted a round of tariffs on China for their trade practices. Think of this what you will, but despite their response of trade tariffs on the U.S., they are far more reliant on our market than we are on theirs and they know it. It sounds like they are willing to make some of the trade changes Trump wanted that are in America’s interest.

This foreign policy strategy bypasses the stuffed shirt, worthless trade organizations that were supposed to be policing these agreements but essentially let China do whatever it wanted. Obama would never even have thought to do what Trump has done.


✓ Allies are ponying up. Obama, as did Bush and Clinton before him, talked about making our allies pay more of their fair share of the military burden of protecting Europe and the Pacific Rim. But as usual, particularly with Obama, it was all fine-sounding hot air. He did nothing.

Trump campaigned on this issue, as he did trade, and he jumped right in suggesting that if France, England, Germany and others cannot contribute the share they are contractually obligated to contribute for their own defense, then perhaps the United States would not continue to be a part of NATO. This was considered outlandishly irresponsible and proof of the Russian collusion, which we dispelled above, or just Trump idiocy. The intelligentsia have been remarkably consistent in judging Trump wrongly.

Sure enough, a strong hand that is backed by strong actions appear to have prevailed. Our NATO allies, and even Japan, are already beginning to spend more on their own military. This is not only fair, it makes the free nations stronger in that they are not as totally reliant on the U.S. military.


✓ Iran is confronted. Obama made what will go down in history as one of the worst agreements ever (still unsigned by both nations) by giving Iran everything from a pathway to sanctioned nuclear weapons in 10 years to literally a planeload of cash and unfrozen assets that were quickly put to use funding its proxy terrorists in Hezbollah. Just incredibly irresponsible and a direct threat to Israel and America.

Trump has not ripped it up yet, but he gave our allies deadlines of May 12 to toughen up the agreement with Iran or we will let American sanctions “snap back” in. Further, recent personnel changes in the administration will put back on the table the entire elimination of the agreement.

Iran is the most destabilizing power in the fiery region and an official state sponsor of terrorism. The deal was a huge setback to peace and fighting terrorism and Trump is pushing back hard on it. Considering his actions in regard to Syria, Russia and North Korea, the Iranian Mullahs will be weighing carefully how confrontative they want to be with this president.


✓ Iraq and Afghanistan stabilizing. This is huge for the region, and for Americans who have fought and bled for so long under substandard White House leadership. The defeat of ISIS and the pushback on the Taliban has allowed two long-time problem countries to stabilize, at least temporarily. Plenty of problems remain, but neither are as capable of training and sending out terrorists as they were and this is good for everyone.

Trump’s list of successes domestically is also more impressive than generally credited — unless of course you don’t like tax cuts that help all Americans and goose the economy; or judges who rule on the Constitution rather than political whims; or a return of manufacturing jobs; or fewer strangling, bureaucratic regulations. But that is another article.

Suffice to say that the critics who claimed — and in the face of all this evidence, continue to claim — that Trump is a stupid bungler unqualified to deal with foreign policy…are dead wrong. Reality is showing that style aside, Obama actually fits that description far better than Trump.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy.  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


Appeasement Foreign affairs Immigration Korea Russia Trump Truth

6 Crises Where Trump’s Blunt Pro Americanism Is Working

Rod Thomson

Diplomacy is often considered the most Genteel and cultured of governmental pursuits. And that can work many times, when done right. But it can also fail miserably, as Winston Churchill clearly understood watching the ever-so-Genteel Neville Chamberlain botch what could have preempted World War II. And it has been failing America over multiple presidential administrations.

Donald Trump is no Winston Churchill in eloquence or knowledge of history or philosophies or alcohol intake, but he has Churchill’s fiery love of country and willingness to speak bluntly outside the nicety circles while carrying a big stick to defend that beloved country. Refreshing and effective.

At the time of his inauguration, Trump inherited at least half a dozen perennial crises that had been allowed to fester through ignorance, incompetence or indifference. He did not have Henry Kissinger skills, but he also was not a John Kerry bungler. He wasn’t a new world order Bushian and he wasn’t an America-meh-whatever Obamaian. In fact, he was a wholly different kind of modern American president, a throwback to Reagan but perhaps much further. And let’s be frank, his developer-TV reality star skill set was unknown in the history of the White House.

But it appears that his blunt pro-Americanism is just what was needed by January 2017. Here are five international crises where it appears that after 14 months with Trump in office, are either promising or measurably better — from America’s point of view.

In January 2017, the deranged North Korean regime had apparently developed not only newer and more powerful nuclear weapons, but the ability to install those on the tips of missiles that could reach the U.S. West Coast. They were belligerent towards South Korea, Japan and the United States and multiple administrations had failed to move China to reign in their crazy step-child. Genteel diplomacy was an utter failure. No more appeasement. Trump sent aircraft carriers to the seas surrounding the Korean Peninsula, tightened down sanctions and ridiculed Kim Jong Un. He gave the appearance and talk of being willing to use force, something North Korea’s leaders knew previous presidents would not do. And now, North Korea is talking to South Korea in a more conciliatory tone with Kim Jong Un actually crossing into the South for talks while asking to meet with President Trump. Plus, China seems to be actually applying pressure on the North Korean dictatorship. The jury is definitely out still on this nutso regime, but these may be the most promising steps in decades as the leadership recognize they are dealing with a President willing to do more than talk.

Please Consider Supporting Our Efforts

In January 2017, Russia had invaded and occupied the Crimea, invaded and occupied through proxies eastern Ukraine, threatened its tiny Baltic neighbors and re-established itself in Syria and so the Middle East. Genteel diplomacy was not working. (Perhaps actual Obama-Russian collusion was?) The breadth of Russian expansionism during the Obama years was breathtaking. Trump stated a willingness to work with Russia and stroked Putin’s ego. But he also immediately fired on a Syrian government air base that had launched a chemical attack — the Syrian government being allied with Russia — destroying the base. He is strengthening ties with the Ukraine and just met with the Baltic leaders to do the same. He has slapped economic sanctions on Russia and expelled diplomats over poisonings in England, our ally. (Worst Russian puppet ever.) Putin, for the first time perhaps as president, seems a little on his heels and his expansionism has been blunted, at least for the moment.

In January 2017, speaking of Russian expansionism, NATO countries in Europe had continued to flaunt their promised military defense expenditures. Remember, NATO was formed for the defense of our European allies against Russian aggression in the form of the Soviet Union. For decades, however, they had not been keeping to the agreements on military levels, but instead giving empty lip service to spending more while intending to continue being shielded largely by the American military. Genteel diplomacy was not working. Trump said time was up, pay up or we will rethink the American role in NATO. Given Putin’s ambitions and Trump’s tendency to follow through with threats, Germany, France and others are now actually budgeting more spending on their military.

In January 2017, China had been feasting on violating trade agreements and stealing American technology. They were forcing American companies to share technology for entry into their market and they were using endless protectionist mechanisms to benefit their manufacturers at the expense of American companies. Previous presidents either did not see this anti Americanism as an issue or just ignored it. Genteel diplomacy had failed. Trump came in with Americanism promises to change it and immediately dumped Pacific Free Trade Agreement (TPP) that seemed very favorable to China and others. He’s now thrown on tariffs and China has responded. However, he knows he has the stronger hand in that China is far more reliant on our imports than we are on theirs — in part because of all their cheating. Jury’s out, because a full trade war is bad for everyone. But that seems unlikely for the pragmatic Chinese leadership.

Like Us On Facebook

In January 2017, Mexico was continuing its decades long policy of urging its least desirable citizens northward across the porous American border. They fought against any tightening on the border and howled about Trump’s “stupid” and “f**king” wall — to quote two former Mexican presidents. Genteel diplomacy had failed, if it had even been tried. But Trump saw in this situation what Americans saw and the genteel diplomats did not: Anti Americanism. Despite a fairly open border, ridiculously generous benefits to all those who snuck in illegally, constraining income growth at the low end for Americans and $30 billion exiting our economy annually to head back to Mexico through remittances, both the Mexican government and many illegal aliens and those speaking for them continued to criticize the United States’ policy and people with charges of racism, xenophobia and so on. Americans had had enough. Trump had had enough. So now the military is headed to the border until the wall is built. Mexico is not happy about this, but a lot of Americans are, because a lot support pro Americanism.

In January 2017, the radical Islamist organization ISIS held large swaths of Syria and Iraq, had declared a caliphate and was spreading terrorism on multiple continents while committing ongoing atrocities against its own population in the vein of Chinese communists, Soviet communists and German Nazis, just a smaller scale. No kind of diplomacy was available with ISIS, but brute force was and the U.S. under Obama had been reluctant to use it. By the end of 2017, they had lost their capital and virtually all of the caliphate. Their holdings in both Iraq and Syria were liberated. This had been very slowly starting to happen in the final years of Obama. But Trump promised to pound ISIS out of existence and followed through by loosening the restraints on the U.S. military, which effectively helped wipe out most of the wicked nest of evil so far in the 21st century.

International relations and events are always fluid. It’s difficult to predict the future with any certainty. But it’s clear that Trump’s blunt, pro-Americanism style of diplomacy is having a positive impact on the world and certainly on American prospects. It may not be what will always be needed. But it is what has been needed at least in these six areas.

Join Our Revolutionary Channel

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy.  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


Democrats Elections Korea Republicans Trump Truth

7 Reasons Why The Midterm Elections May NOT Be A Blue Wave

Rod Thomson

This is not a rose-colored view. The midterm elections are going to be dicey for Republicans in the House. Virtually all of modern American history, regardless of party i power, demonstrates this. Yes, the GOP could definitely lose the House.

First, here are the numbers suggesting GOP vulnerability in the House. In 16 out of 18 post-WWII midterms, the president’s party has lost House seats. Importantly, the average loss for the president’s party is 25 House seats. The Republicans currently have a 23-seat majority.

However, there is a counter case to the media narrative that muddies the electoral waters in a way not normally seen. This is pure political analysis, and things could change. Certainly some of the recent election losses are serious red flags.

First a quick look at the two exceptions to the postwar rule on midterm elections. In 1998 under President Clinton, Democrats picked up five seats. That was a second term president and a booming economy — which is relevant based on the case below. The other exception was in 2002 under President Bush, when Republicans picked up six seats in the House.

Both of those presidents had very high approval ratings; 66 percent for Clinton in a very strong economy and 63 percent for Bush, but we were a nation at war, just a year after the 9-11 attacks and Americans rally behind the president during times of war. In this Gallup chart, you can see how the midterm elections track generally with the president’s approval rating. President Trump’s Gallup approval rating is 39 percent. Reagan’s was 42 percent during his first midterm, and the GOP lost 28 seats.

So just by the numbers, it looks pretty bad for Republicans. And it may be. But numbers are usually driven by underlying factors — which is why Clinton in 1998 and Bush in 2002 bucked the overarching trend.

Support Us On Patreon

So let’s look at some of those underlying issues. There are at least seven fairly major areas affecting Americans that should be favorable for the President in power in a midterm election. Here they are in probable order of importance in November.

1) The Economy. Whether measured by GDP growth or job growth or unemployment rates, the American economy is perhaps the strongest it has been this century. This is a pocketbook issue and has always electorally benefitted the party in power. (Clinton in 1998.)

2) Tax Cuts. The tax reform package is putting more money in people’s pockets. It’s as if the GOP Congress and President Trump gave Americans a pay raise. This also is a very positive pocketbook issue. (Bush in 2002, from the 2001 tax cuts and, as stated, the 9-11 attacks.)

3) Obamacare rollbacks. More freedom for millions of Americans who will not be penalized for not buying a product that their betters in Washington were forcing them to buy. Again, a positive pocketbook issue, in addition to a liberty issue.

4) Deregulation. This has been going on steadily through the White House, freeing American corporations to be more competitive and provide more affordable products and services for Americans. This is the hidden gem because it is largely unreported, but it helps tens of thousands of companies and their employees, and will continue to benefit the economy.

5) Jobs and Manufacturing Jobs. President Obama said of declining manufacturing jobs that those are gone and they’re never coming back. Under Trump, American companies have added 222,000 manufacturing jobs in the past 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Obama was wrong, because Democrats have the wrong policies. This can matter in blue collar purple districts.

6) North Korea. For the first time, North Korea’s psycho leader is talking seriously to South Korea and reached out to meet with an American president. This may still tank given the brutal regime’s history, but just getting this far without giving in to extortion as previous administrations did is an accomplishment. It’s not a big electoral needle-mover, but it doesn’t hurt. Improving Trump’s approval rating could translate into House wins.

7) Hammering Putin and Russia. Despite all the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense, for which there is still no evidence at all, Trump has been considerably harder on Russia than Obama, who openly colluded with Russia during his 2012 re-election campaign. He’s bombed Russian allies, extended military cooperation with our Eastern European allies facing Russia and has slapped sanctions on Russia for meddling in 2016.

Our Revolutionary Youtube Channel

As demonstrated, several of these mitigating factors have played a role in the two midterm exceptions. They will play a role in this year’s also. Whether they are enough to offset the momentum and excitement of Democrat wins in 2017 and the most recent in Pennsylvania, only time will tell.

The wild card remains, of course, President Trump — his mannerisms that turn off a percentage of Americans who otherwise agree with this policies, if they are aware of them — and whether he will modify those mannerisms. Based on the underlying attitude of people thinking the nation is going in the right direction, it is probably Trump’s mannerisms and the daily drumbeat of negativity in the media that is driving down his approvals.

The media definitely won’t change. Trump probably won’t change them much. However, he already has dialed back the little side-fighting tweet wars with celebrities, athletes and other knuckleheads.

One last wild card is the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. If Mueller finds real corruption in the Trump campaign, then a blue wave is assured. But that is seemingly not going to happen. If Mueller finds nothing more on Trump and Russia, or even pivots toward Clinton and the Democrats, that could blunt a lot of Democrat momentum.

Either way, it seems clear that a blue wave is not assured at this point — Democrat fundraising letters and media reports notwithstanding.

Like Us On Facebook

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy.  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


Korea Media Obamacare Trump Truth

America Requires Better Media. Here’s How.

Rod Thomson

Americans are being materially damaged by a media that is stuck in a form of lazy pack journalism that runs on the thin fuel of a few superficial formulas.

There is very little issue and policy reporting from the pack out of Washington — and this goes for the liberal outlets as well as the conservative ones. Fox News topically on the evening news is not substantially different from CNN or the networks or the daily newspapers around the country.

This isn’t about bias. That’s a different issue. This is about journalists who, almost literally, run as a pack on story coverage — from press conferences to press release. If one of them breaks a story that fits in the formula, they all paddle as one pack over to that story.

So what we have almost every night is one of a couple of narratives.

1) Who is winning today, Republicans or Democrats? The day’s news events are played as how they will affect the parties right now going into the mid-term elections a year from now.

2)How does this affect President Trump? From North Korea and China to unemployment numbers or terrorism to who wins off-year elections, it is about Trump. In the two years leading up to the election, it was: How will this affect Obama’s legacy? Like Americans give two figs about a president’s personal legacy.

This is just a huge disservice to American consumers of news. The horse race between parties and the effects on the president should be the byproducts of reporting on the substance and relevance of the day’s news on Americans and the rest of the world. And believe it or not, that relevance is not first and foremost how it affects a president or the political parties.

But that is how it is done. Record the three networks and three cable news outlets on a night and you will see almost identical stories, often in similar order. And the stories will be framed on the above horse race formula, not on substance within the stories.

How else could journalism be done? I was a mainstream media reporter and editor for 25 years. There’s a better way. But it means breaking from the pack, taking some chances, and working harder on the actual reporting aspect.


A better model for American media

This might be called fair, professional, explanatory journalism. I know it sounds impossible in light of the current state of politicized, divisive journalism. But it doesn’t have to be.

Let’s take North Korea. When Trump talks about the horrible state of the North Korean people — worst living conditions in the world, and that’s saying something — it’s reported as dangerous rhetoric. Every missile fired, every statement from the dictator is pitched as a test for Trump. Sending carrier fleets is reported as a dangerous, saber-rattling move for Trump.

But how else could these issues be reported?

Trump’s tweets could be taken as the perfect opportunity to report on the actual living conditions of the North Korean people. The concentration camps, strategic starvations, torture chambers, militant atheism, public executions, forced labor and random incarceration that keeps the population terrified and in bare survival mode. Human Rights Watch calls North Korea the most or one of the most repressive regimes in the world.

What a plethora of opportunities for reporting on conditions that are about one step above Jews in Nazi Germany. Yet this context is almost never reported, except maybe one-time in-depth newspaper or magazine stories that get little readership — but might win some awards. Instead, it’s tit-for-tat reporting in each news cycle with no context.

Every missile fired is reported as a challenge to Trump. But it’s really an immediate threat to Japan and South Korea. How accurate are those missiles? What is their payload? What can the North Koreans develop in the next timeframe? What sort of destruction do they pose for South Korea, for Japan, and eventually for the United States? Well almost no American basic news consumer can answer those questions because the media focuses like a pack on the challenge to Trump. You can google search for them, but they are one-off stories and really never by the TV outlets.

Sending carrier groups into the region is reported as a Trump escalation and dangerous saber-rattling. But how did we get to this point? We explained this earlier. But there is so much more that media members could do to explain how multiple presidents from both parties have used appeasement as the primary tool — not learning well from history — that has delivered this disastrous situation on Trump’s — and everyone else’s — front porch. Stories with that context would explain much more effectively why, perhaps, a different strategy from kicking the can down the road is needed.

Or we can take the incessant horse-race reporting between Republicans and Democrats.

It’s almost depressing how each new piece of major legislation is immediately billed as dangerous or beneficial for Republicans or Democrats or Trump. A distant consideration — if one given at all — is how the legislation will affect all Americans, and then only in who it hurts and how it may affect their votes.

The Obamacare repeal attempts were heavily reported first on the Republicans’ success or failure to enact, second, its effects on the Obama legacy and third, the losers and winners. But rarely is there any real context on the impact of Obamacare on healthcare insurance and on Americans’ access to healthcare and why doing nothing is actually the most irresponsible route.

This is going on in spades on the current tax reform proposal by Republicans. “Republicans need a win!’ and “Trump needs a win!” has been the mantra across media coverage and talking heads. Americans largely just don’t give a rip which party gets a win. They’re more interested in Americans getting a win.

Trade with China has been a huge issue, in the election and during the past year. But are China trade deals bad? How are they bad and for whom? If they are bad, who gave them to us and why? What can be done to improve them? But a lot of what we get is Trump criticizes Chinese trade deals and how will that play for him in certain states.

During the Republican Primary, there were numerous accomplished governors and senators running, many of whom had developed policies based on conservative principles that had worked in their states. But the media all but ignored them, and totally ignored their plans, in favor of covering Trump incessantly. Leading up to the first primary, Trump had been donated $2 billion worth of free branding in the form of media coverage — twice as much as the entire rest of the Republican field, combined.

How might have Americans been served if the media had reported regularly on the others that had created substantive proposals on every major issue facing us. Instead, they went for the shiny object with ratings. A lazy, superficial formula.

Americans deserve a better media. The idea that is America requires a better media.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Appeasement Korea Politics Truth

CONTEXT: Our Own Neville Chamberlains Led to North Korea Crisis

Rod Thomson

Appeasing a genocidal madman, allowing him access to terrifically destructive war machines, has never gone well for the world.

It’s just that the peace-desiring countries of the world never learn this difficult truth, too often cuddling up with the seductive mistress of appeasement. This is the precise dynamic we see after multiple U.S. presidents tried to stop North Korean dictator Kim Il Jung by giving him everything he wanted in return for empty promises. Now he has numerous nuclear weapons and increasingly sophisticated missiles. And appeasement may no longer be possible. The bill is coming due, as it always does.

This also happened a few generations ago when the progressive Prime Minister of Great Britain, Stanley Baldwin, spent more than a decade ignoring the rise of an obscure German corporal and his National Socialist Party and pretended everything was going great with the defeated German nation. Baldwin thought highly of himself and what he was accomplishing even while Germany spiraled into the economic abyss due to the unwise Treaty of Versailles after WWI.

The corporal gained control of not only his party, but slowly the government of Germany until, through a series of machinations, he named himself the Fuehrer, the almighty leader of a rapidly strengthening Germany — equivalent to Kim Il Jung

Baldwin deposited this growing menace in the lap of his successor, the better known for the wrong reason Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who was also arrogant, progressive in his ideals and sold out on the concept that talk and international paperwork could appease a monster.

Chamberlain met with Herr Adolph Hitler repeatedly, each time he gave Hitler more of what the Nazi leader demanded by agreement or by inaction: remilitarizing the Rhineland with what was essentially a police force; the Austrian putsch; taking the Sudetenland; overrunning the Czech Republic; and vastly rebuilding the Wehrmacht in violation of the treaty. There was not even a military response as Germany and the Soviet Union carved up Poland, even though the allies were bound by treaty.

After one meeting with Herr Hitler in Munich, Chamberlain returned to London waving a paper and declaring proudly, and now infamously, “We have peace in our time.” Keep this picture in your mind.

France also just watched, but she was a shell, worn out by WWI and wracked by Communists. Britain had the power to stop Hitler again and again and again — early on at virtually no cost, and then with increasing costs but still short of world war.

Instead, they appeased over multiple prime ministers. Only Winston Churchill clearly saw the threat and faced it head on. By the time he became Prime Minister, the cost of stopping Hitler had risen to horrific.  


Baldwin and Chamberlain, meet Clinton, Bush and Obama

It’s important to remember that what the Trump administration faces in North Korea today did not just appear overnight. It has been many presidents in the making. (Heaven knows the rest of the world won’t do anything. They are collectively France before WWI, except China, which is an actual enabler.)

North Korea was born of the ashes of the back-and-forth Korean War in the early 1950s. It has been under family dictatorial rule since the end of that war, backed by the Communist China regime that came to its rescue during the war. China remains the only country with any influence over the North, which is a third-world country. But it’s never clear just how much. China games it time and again for their own pursuits.

The family leadership always had eyes on South Korea, which has developed into a prosperous, thriving, free, capitalist country while its northern neighbor languishes under tyranny and some weird form of Communism. In the late 1980s, North Korea began trying to develop nuclear weapons. We were sure we could appease them out of it with shiny objects and pieces of paper.

We were wrong.


Bill Clinton’s appeasement

Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush created agreements with North Korea early in the process, which turned out to be empty and ignored. But North Korea’s intents were not well-established at that point. By the time Bill Clinton came into office, it was clear that North Korea was determined to get nuclear weapons and thought nothing of agreements.

In 1994, Clinton sent former President Jimmy Carter to North Korea to negotiate an Agreed Framework to keep a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. This was a little like Neville Chamberlain sending Stanley Baldwin to negotiate with Hitler. Appeasement squared.

The deal Carter negotiated gave North Korea everything it wanted in return for what would turn out to be more empty promises. The North got two brand new reactors and $5 billion in “aid” in return for their promise to quit seeking nuclear weapons.

Clinton jumped on this appeasement train and with a strong whiff of Chamberlain’s infamous “peace in our time” speech, saying the agreement brought “an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula.” For this profound failure, in which the North admitted in 2002 they had violated from the first day, Carter was thusly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — a once relished prize that is now a progressive political farce.


George W. Bush’s appeasement

President Bush rightly identified North Korea as part of the “Axis of Evil” in 2002, which included Iran, Iraq and Libya — all of whom were tyrannies pursuing nuclear weapons. Bush recognized the growing threat, but in the end 9/11 forced his eyes off North Korea and on the Jihadist threat to the United States. Not altogether wrong, perhaps, but the result was kicking the nuclear can down the road.

Bush’s policies began to look like Clinton’s previous appeasements. His administration negotiated another Agreed Framework, in hopes of stopping North Korea’s nuclear weapons pursuit by lifting some sanctions, releasing some North Korean money in return for the North stopping its uranium enrichment and allowing inspections.

In essence, real stuff in return for a piece of paper.

Just like the Munich agreement with Hitler and the future Iranian agreement on nuclear weapons, this would turn out be be a piece of paper better used as a coloring pad for the children.

Part of the reason it was worthless was because the tyranny never intended to abide by it, while the other part is that the major powers who could enforce it had no will to do so.

So the North reneged, but Bush focused on Afghanistan and Iraq and ended up releasing money to them while not requiring inspections. Total appeasement.


Barack Obama’s appeasement

The Obama administration was content to appease and look the other way on North Korea as they were focused on committing the unforced error of repeating Munich and Pyongyang with Tehran — negotiate with killer tyrants and rely on their goodwill and a piece of paper.

In an interesting denial of reality, the Obama administration said it will “never accept” a nuclear North Korea — even though the North detonated a nuclear weapon in 2006, during the last year of Bush’s presidency.  

Of course, Obama said precisely the same thing about Iran, then sent John Kerry to negotiate a deal with ayatollahs guaranteeing they will become nuclear.

Obama is, if possible, a more feckless version of the Baldwin, Chamberlain, Clinton line of appeasers as he sought out an opportunity to do it with Iran right when that nation was buckling under international sanctions. They were losing, sanctions were working, and Obama plucked them out and turned them into what will inevitably be much wealthier members of the nuclear club of tyrants.

The world has had sanctions of varying degrees on North Korea for years. They have given a lifeline by China. Relieving sanctions and providing aid is always the carrot to get good behavior on nukes. There is never a stick.

As the North was starving its people, the Obama administration agreed in 2012 to bail them out with 240,000 tons of food in exchange for nuclear concessions. Well, you know by now what happened. They got enough relief to placate their people and maintain their grip, and conceded nothing — this also being a cautionary tale of how sometimes humanitarian efforts for tyrannical regimes can cause more suffering in the long run, including for the people the efforts are aimed at.

Completely predictable and the third president failing at appeasement.


The bill for North Korea appeasement is coming due

This is the context in which President Trump enters office, with all the theoretically responsible countries of the West and elsewhere hopelessly trying to ignore the growing threat of North Korea. Maybe it’ll go away. Maybe it will magically solve itself. Maybe…and here’s the reality…the United States will do something.

The North probably has dozens of nuclear weapons and increasingly sophisticated delivery systems in the form of missiles. They are making more all the time. Truly reaching the United States with missiles seems unlikely. But the North can obviously reach South Korea, and Japan is just a few miles away.

No one was willing to stop Hitler when it would have been relatively easy to do so. No one was willing to stop North Korea when it would have been relatively cheaper in cost — even with the proximity of China.

Now, maybe, someone is willing. But at what cost? And who will be willing to look back at the Clintons, Bushes and Obamas and lay the blame where it belongs, like we rightly do Baldwin and Chamberlain?

And will we ever, ever learn?

Learn How to
Decode the Media.
Download your free copy now!

3 Keys to Decoding the Media by Rod Thomson

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.