Middle East. Bolton had his ass kicked on this trip. The Turks made it clear that my view of them as neo-Ottomans unwilling to kow-tow to the US or anyone else is correct. The manner of Turkish dismissal of Bolton's neocon decrees was wonderfully reminiscent of an Ottoman sultan leaving envoys waiting for weeks for an audience. Now Dunford has run off to Ankara to try his luck. IMO he will not do much better. The Turks have rejected US pressure to cancel the S-400 deal with Russia and make it clear that they are going to butcher the SDF people as soon as we get out of the way. At the same time Bolton, Pompeo and Jeffrey are telling the SDF that they better not make a deal with Damascus! They better not! This behavior is like children forming cliques in a school yard. The mere fact that only the Syrian government and its allies can save the SDF from the Turks evidently means nothing to the neocons. And, the Jordanian foreign minister made an unequivocal statement, presumably on behalf of his sovereign that under no circumstance would Jordan accept Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights, a territory undoubtedly a de jure territory of Syria. Iraq and Egypt have made similar statements. The neocons have always made a great show of respect for a world order based on post Westphalia conceptions of state sovereignty. Their willingness to accept Israeli piracy and theft of other peoples' territory makes a mockery of that. IMO neocon policy in the ME is collapsing under its own weight of delusion. That Trump allows this indicates to me that he is compromised to some special interest and that the depth of his ignorance of the region remains appalling.
China. It is said that progress is being made in the trade talks, but thus far it is invisible. On the other hand the Chinese Navy is becoming more and more belligerent in challenging what they see as intrusions into their zone of influence in the South China Sea. A senior Chinese naval personage last week made a statement to the effect that what China needs to do is sink two US aircraft carriers and kill 10,000 sailors to confirm to the US that this sea is closed to us. Adversaries have repeatedly made the mistake of thinking that because a lot of Americans are sybarites who care for nothing but themselves, that this degenerated stock determines what the "Great Republic" will do in a clash. What they miss in this thinking is that there is a separate "nation" within the US made up of the Deplorables and the children of the Deplorables and these will always fight. I know Muslims who thought after 9/11 that the US had been taught a lesson and would henceforth be humbled and passive. How many Muslims died for that mistake?
The internal political war.
Chancy (Chuck and Nancy) as well as the idiots in the senate from New Jersey are having a great time mocking Trump. They are gambling all on their ability to use their servant media to depict everything he does as evil and stupid. They are hoping to force him to accept their will and thus castrate himself politically. If he does that, IMO he a will be mere figurehead for the rest of his term. I continue to think that when he has sufficiently positioned the Democrats, he will declare a national emergency, put Northcom in charge of the barriers project in order to fulfill the terms of the Emergencies Act and then have the Army Corps of Engineers let a lot of contracts to build out what the Border Patrol recommends. pl