Friday, May 17, 2019
Anybody who was paying attention back in 2003 should be experiencing an ominous sense of déjà vu about now. One big difference is that the news media are a lot less likely to be suckered today than they were last time, so Bolton's regime change plan for Iran shouldn't go over quite as well as the plan for regime change in Iraq did. Given the suffering US policy has created for the Iranian people, it's hard to imagine how any democratically elected government in Iran could be friendly to the US.
Congress is less partisan about Tr*mp's tariffs than it is about most issues, although Republican opponents are not especially vocal about it. It makes perfect political sense that a Rust Belt Democrat would back the tariffs, but I suspect some other Democratic supporters just want Our President to crash the economy in time for 2020. The main sticking point in negotiations seems to be US insistence on changes to Chinese law, an embarrassing compromise of Chinese sovereignty. Such changes hardly seem necessary: Xi is just as likely to ignore Chinese law as Tr*mp is to ignore American law — but a lot less likely to be called on it.
While plenty of Venezuelans – especially the more affluent – would love to dump Maduro, they don't seem to be especially enthusiastic about Guidó either. It's unclear just what kind of compromise Swedish diplomats hope to facilitate, but it won't be an easy task. Any deal will have to satisfy two belligerent incompetents: Maduro and Tr*mp. Guidó doesn't count anymore.