Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team, compiled by Global Briefing editor Jason Miks.
April 28, 2017
Fareed: What 100 Days of Trump Have Taught Us
The number of promises unfulfilled in President Trump’s first 100 days in office is staggering, Fareed writes in his Washington Post column. The biggest lesson with all this? “That government isn’t easy.”
Trump’s “appeal for so many was that he was an outsider, a businessman who would bring his commercial skills and management acumen to the White House and get things done. Washington’s corrupt politicians and feckless bureaucrats would see how a successful man from ‘the real world’ cuts through the fog.
“Instead, we have watched the sheer incompetence of Trump’s first 100 days — orders that can’t get through courts, bills that collapse in Congress, agencies that remain understaffed, ceaseless infighting within the White House and the constant flip-flops. It turns out that running a family-owned real estate franchising operation is not really the same as presiding over the executive branch of the U.S. government. It turns out that government is hard, ‘complicated’ stuff.”
Globalists Tighten Grip Over Team Trump: Cassidy
President Trump’s decision not to abandon NAFTA is a further sign that the globalists in his administration are increasingly “taking charge of economic policy,” writes John Cassidy in the New Yorker.
“The Bannon faction, which had already suffered a number of setbacks, seems to have lost another battle. And while Trump clearly still personally holds some instinctive enthusiasm for Bannon’s protectionist agenda, he’s yet to really act on it.
“Many people on Wall Street twigged to this a good while ago. That’s one reason the stock market has done so well in the last few months. If investors believed a full-scale trade war were a serious possibility, the markets would have tanked. The smart money assumed Trump would eventually accept the advice of his more moderate advisers, and that assumption has been vindicated.”
Are Russians Getting Restless?
Across Russia, a growing number of protests are springing up over missing pension payments or missed pay checks, writes Amie Ferris-Rotman for Foreign Policy.
“The world took notice last month, when, unexpectedly, large-scale anti-corruption protests organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny rocked cities across Russia, leading to hundreds of arrests, including of many young people,” Ferris-Rotman writes. “The protests were widely seen as the first real challenge to the Kremlin in Russia in years. But it is the ongoing protests in President Vladimir Putin’s traditional heartland — places like Gukovo and elsewhere — which may be the better measure of how deep current discontent runs in Russia.”
China’s Plan for Robot Domination
China has its eye on dominating the world – in robotics, Bloomberg reports.
“Beijing economic planners view it as a stepping stone to a broader strategic goal: dominating emerging markets for artificial intelligence, driver-less vehicles and digitally-connected appliances and homes.
“Standing in the way are established robotics superpowers like Japan, South Korea, Germany and the U.S. Yet China has three big advantages — scale, growth momentum and money. It’s home to the world’s fastest-growing robotics market and vast manufacturing sector where companies are under pressure to automate.”
The EU Is “Profoundly Socialist”
Aware that the European Union has been stumbling, the European Commission looked this week to define what the bloc is all about with a new social rights document, argues Leonid Bershidsky for Bloomberg View. The takeaway? “[T]he European Union remains a profoundly socialist organization.”
“The declaration’s 20 basic principles include protections against abrupt dismissal, parental leave and flexible work regimes for both women and men who have kids, and even a paragraph that reads like an endorsement of a universal basic income…”
Australia: At Mercy of “Two Mad Men” in Kim and Trump
Australia sits at the mercy and whims of “two mad men”, and risks getting dragged along by the United States as tensions grow on the Korean Peninsula, writes John Hewson in The Age, ahead of a meeting next week between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“[T]he Turnbull government has had to settle for the crumbs: meetings with Vice President Mike Pence, there and here, making various attempts to save the ‘refugee deal’, calling on China to do more in relation to the emerging tensions with North Korea,” Hewson writes. “We have been heavily criticized and threatened by Pyongyang, for doing the bidding of the U.S., and for facilitating a U.S. troop build-up in our north.”
Trump puzzling U.S. allies. “U.S. President Donald Trump’s warm words for Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a ‘good man’ will reassure Beijing that he finally understands the importance of good ties,” write Ben Blanchard and Philip Wen for Reuters.
But it “risks leaving America’s regional allies puzzling over where they fit into the new order.”
A Trump-sized opportunity for Abe. Unlike other U.S. allies who see risk and uncertainty in President Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sees the new U.S. administration as an opportunity “to advance a controversial and unpopular” security agenda, writes Nick Bisley in the Japan Times.
“At home Abe is able to use Trump’s election to underscore the need to develop a greater capacity for self-defense,” Bisley writes. “Trump and the uncertainty that he brings, both in the specifics of his policies and in the broader fact of his election will make pushing the case for the need for greater independence to a broader audience that much easier.”
How to Bring Peace to Syria
The first step in resolving the conflict in Syria should be a ceasefire – and not the ceasefire in name only that exists today, writes Hamish de Bretton-Gordon in the New Statesman. “The U.N. must police this ceasefire with monitors and peacekeepers.”
“The second requirement for peace is Safe Zones. Millions of civilians are without the bare essentials in life and are besieged by the warring factions. U.N. military personnel are required to protect these people, and to enable the millions of tons of aid, which sits gathering dust in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan to get to where it should be, and to support reconstruction of the shattered infrastructure.”