25 March, 2019

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US Liberal Media & Democratic Party-Centre Are Fast Losing Traction

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

US liberal media and Democratic Party-centre are fast losing traction: Kim-summit failure may suit Trump

Many in the US justifiably believed that Trump fled from home because the heat was turning up. His former long-time attorney Michael Cohen testifying before Congress, as expected made a blistering attack, casting his former boss as “a con man”, “racist” and “cheat”. Multiple investigations have turned the presidency into a nightmare. The Mueller Report due soon may tie him to collusion with Russia. The foreign policy scene is chaotic; he threatened to remove Venezuela’s Maduro but he finds himself on a sticky wicket because the military is clinging to the discredited dud; his off the cuff promises to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan have become problematic; the trade-war with China is stuck. The American President needed escape from this purgatory. 

The most serious confrontation is with Congress and will turn into a constitutional crisis. Trump demanded $5.6 billion to build his infamous Wall on the Mexican border; Congress refused, he responded by declaring a spurious Emergency which allows him to grab funds from other sources (e.g. monies lying in crevices in the military budget). Congress declared the Emergency proclamation a hoax and voted to annul it. He will veto that and bipartisan proponents will not be able to muster the two-thirds majority required to override a veto. He will then snatch funds from wherever possible and a constitutional crisis will pave the way to the 2020 congressional and presidential elections.   

It is against this domestic backdrop that we need to ponder the long-term consequences of the first (Singapore) love-in and second (Hanoi) estrangement. The US media view is that these are exercises in distracting attention from fiascos in the domestic arena and not of much value to the US. It is fantasy, it reckons to imagine NK’s capabilities can be neutralized; at the moment there is a freeze on all tests but this can be reversed at a moment’s notice and NK is continuing to build nuclear and missile capability.A deal leaving a significant portion of NK’s nuclear-tipped missiles in place would rob the US of leverage. The Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank based in Washington says “NK has at least 13 operating missile bases that it has not declared with the ability to launch missiles reaching the continental US even after American air strikes. After extensive research, including interviews with NK defectors and US intelligence officials, it appears NK currently has 15-20 missile operating bases”.

US strategists concerned that Trump, eager for an agreement because of other woes, would give too much for too little in return, are now relieved that he walked away and restored the status-anti. NK wanted two things, a peace declaration officially ending the Korean War and the lifting of sanctions. The former removes the threat of regime change and encourages the reduction of U.S. troops in South Korea. Sanctions relief would allow NK, a country with great economic potential, to pursue profitable projects with the South and joint ventures with global investors. The negotiating game went like this: US officials including Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley, former UN ambassador, insisted on “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” before scaling back UN Security Council sanctions restricting external trade to humanitarian assistance and small quantities of fuel. Pyongyang asked for “phased and synchronised denuclearization”, meaning sanctions would be gradually relaxed or dropped in step with denuclearization, rather than waiting till its completion. It was deadlock.

Liberal media and Democratic Party in a flop

Painting on a wider canvas than merely the collapse of the Trump-Kim summit, a big picture is emerging. The relentless onslaught on Trump as idiosyncratic, dishonest, narcissistic and a bad president, is justified; the adjectives are true. However, the blitzkrieg has done what damage it can do and is not injuring him any further. The Trump-Base, perhaps 25% of the electorate is not budging in loyalty. Nor will the failure of the summit impact negatively on Trump’s ratings as reverting to the pre-Singapore status quo has its domestic supporters. I can’t estimate reliably, but say another 40 to 50% of Americans have no faith in Congress, the Democratic Party (DP), the Republican Party and politicians of all hues. If Americans learn Sinhala the axiom “ung okoma kalakaniyo” could become an Americanism.   

I detect a profound shift in the DP. There is an unmistakeable leftward shift; how they talk, the people in focus and the hollowing out of its centre. The 2018 elections shot a bunch of radical Democrats into the House of Reps; many young, many women including Alexandria Octavia Cortez who I brought to the attention of Lankan readers 10 months ago when she was not recognised even by the US media. She made the cover of the Economist only last month. Bernie Sanders announced his presidential candidacy three weeks ago; within a week he raised $10 million in small donations and is taking town-hall meetings by storm. Other DP hopefuls are shifting their talk and their walk; suddenly healthcare for all, student debt, tax policy and a minimum wage are hot topics. Oh dear reader, I do appreciate that as when I drew your attention to the decline of alt-right populism, so too till ‘scholars’ and the western media “announce” it, you won’t take notice of what I say. No problem; nevertheless there is a big shift in the DP’s works. 

What after the failure?

Kim wants the world to get comfortable with the idea of NK in possession of a nuclear arsenal. He is not going to throw away decades of research; it’s naive to think he will do so except in exchange for huge economic concessions and watertight security guarantees. The US negotiated because it was alarmed by NK’s capabilities; furthermore, in the eyes of American strategists both Kim and their own leader are unstable. Kim needed to leave Hanoi with a signed agreement and NK was casting the summit as a success even before it happened. Some claim, though I doubt it, that it was willing to give away everything including all the facilities at Yongbyon. Pyongyang is hard to read but the stunning collapse must have been unexpected and left NK’s team of seasoned negotiators bewildered. Trump claimed that NK demanded all sanctions be lifted at once but NK then took the extraordinary step of calling its own press conference to insist it only asked for gradual easing.

A summary of NK’s weapons capabilities goes like this. Throughout 2017, NK tested missiles demonstrating rapid advances in military technology. KN-17 (Hwasong-12), range of 4,500km (2,800 miles), can reach the US base in Guam; KN-20 (Hwasong-14), range 10,000km, is an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching New York; finally KN-22 (Hwasong-15) puts the entire United States within range. The US has advanced interceptor technologies in its arsenal but if even one nuclear tipped missile reaches a big US city it’s doomsday for America. The yield of the 3 September 2017 nuclear test, most experts estimate, was 100+ kilotons – more than five ‘Hiroshimas’. 

The two Kores remain officially at war as no peace treaty has been signed. An armistice was entered into in 1953 and a Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) established by the UN (USA), China and North Korea. Behind the DMZ and beyond the reach of US and SK artillery, NK’s missiles have the ability to destroy two-thirds of South Korea’s industrial and critical infrastructure.

Although there are reports that NK’s economy has improved in the last five years, others say prosperity is visible only in Pyongyang and confined to the well-to-do classes. The countryside is still said to be dirt poor though food shortages have eased after the bumper harvest of 2014. As recently as January 2018, UNICEF launched a $16.5 million emergency relief package while the government funnelled a quarter of its revenue into military programmes! South Korea is the country most alarmed by NK’s military capability and is shaken by the collapse of the Hanoi summit. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is on record last year saying “Chairman Kim has repeatedly expressed his strong will to denuclearize; he wants to focus on economic development”.

But we are not back to square-one because a US military strike at NK is no longer thinkable and war on the Korean Peninsula is near impossible in the foreseeable future. Kim will keep his bombs and missiles for now and presumably be smart enough not to carry out any more tests. The downside for him is that US enforced sanctions remain in place. So his obvious game ploy is to convince China and Russia, and more discreetly South Korea and Japan that he went a long way offering concessions that the US rejected. China and South Korea are critical; the former can turn a blind eye to sanctions evading goods transported into NK by rail and South Korea is keen to improve economic conditions in the North, the one sure road to lasting peace. The overall scorecard at this point in time reads Kim 2, Trump 1; 3 in total, so some progress has been made on a tinderbox issue though to appearances the summit collapsed. 

How will this play in the bigger global picture. The two principal issues that will determine the future of the world in the Twenty-first Century are Climate Change and Sino-American relations. The US-NK drama is, comparatively, a storm in a teacup. The US is embroiled more deeply than it need have been because of Trump’s unnecessary fireworks in 2017. China on the other hand is sitting on the side-lines and contemplating how to best exploit things. Naturally it is worried about a nuclear-armed missile-capable North Korea on its doorstep but on the political side it is pleased that the US and Japan continue to be tied up in knots and need Beijing as a go between. Ah well, the world most likely will keep going round and round as usual.

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    Another boring Article. what is the source. In North america it is CNN, FOX etc., etc.,

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      JD:
      For someone who is “bored” with what Kumar writes, you certainly seem to read a great deal of what is published over his name, responding more than once to a single article. Unfortunately, your attempts at projecting erudition of some description aren’t very successful when couched in gibberish rather than comprehensible English.
      Is there no justice in the publishing world when people with your writing “skills” are permitted to exhibit them?

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        Great comment about the article or is it on gibberish. I herd Belgium King saying they screwed up us.Dutch NGO is working inside the Finance ministry. Anothef unemployed Georgian PM is also paid by our loans.

    • 0
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      JD ..MY man…. Dude..Dog…… what’s up with you . YOU ARE ALL OVER THIS WEB SITE
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      you have become the very Only Colombo telegraph Addict…..I really do think You should see a Psychiatrist about you Internet Addiction if not Mate Search on the search BAR [INTERNET ADDICTION–INTERNET TROLLING] educate you self
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      ….hope your are unmarried with no children {hope you are Divorced} otherwise family will be in ruins because of these Internet addiction habits……god bless mate get some sleep….

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    What about the war between Pakisthan and India. Last time also when the previous Pakisthani Pm went to Modi, there had been a terrorist attack in India. This time Pakisthani opposition leader,I suppose, says that Pakisthani Intelligence carried out, I mean know who did it, the bomb attack on Indian police. Probably to make Modi and Imran Khan go at each other when Indian elections are nearby. for MODI. Both Indian and Pakisthani intelligence services are infested with foreign agents. American State department gave some “PRESTIGIOUS AWARD” to some Srilankan woman who is busy working with the Srilankan Army and many ministries and departments. I am sure she is very friendly with almost whole 225 in the parliament and Wigneswaran and TNA too.. TRUMP also said to MODI “I do not like you because you do not give free access to our products and so I cancel GSP+ to you”. BULL $hit, only Ranil ejaculates on that while wearing a victoria secret Jungi..

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    Another Story said, that TRUMP had said in NK, that we do not have money now to give aids. so buy our products everything will change. Another is TRUMP needs NK stop selling their mineral resources to any one. In Venezula they scan even sea bottoms for oil in order for RAPID PRIVATIZATION.up life the economy very democratically. All the very big oil companies are scanning I heard.

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    Wow oh wow this is really AMAZING…..Thank god as a Die hard supporter of Christian and Conservative value (me)..I am SHOCKED by to realize that CT is not a Puppet of Neo-Fascist Liberal wing of Democratic Party….bottom line FOX NEWS is not for free (subscription required) all other Neo PERVERTS Far LEFTIST CHANNELS are free cause they are streaming for Viewers who barely can afford it…even though Lives in US (believe this FACT)…..
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    Colombo Telegraph Congratulation for even though I do think you still is an Anti-Trump Left Leaning Voice….After AOC and her Pathetic Biggertory Causes NY State to Loose one of it’s Biggest TECH Investment[AMAZON-HQ02]…what does AOC do….This Moron Doesn’t realizes what hell she has Done…not to mention Green new Deal….
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    CT you see most S.Lnakans even our HUMBLING 3rd class rich People [people who went US and do s.h .e.t.t.yyy little odd jobs and doing it for all most 2 decades and come around to Their mother land to Purchase Hi-End condominium @ Colombo 03/04/05/06/07…..sorry to hurt Y feelings mate]
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    They are all DIE hard supporters of Democratic Party…basically Sri Lankans who goes to US are Left leaning people cause without it they wold not be able make the fortunes to Purchase Condominium in Colombo….and these are the very Individuals here at Colombo Telegraph Bashes at Trump yes for the last 5 months or so I have seen this This 3rd class losers who had spend decades in US being forced leave cause they longer needs their MAJOR IN MINOR SPECIALTIES [entire families] are pissed at republicans & Trump….and here in your blog they say the worse of the comments to & about Trump….

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    bottom line for all Sri Lankans reading this Article ” If you only watch MSNBC [worse] CNN [Clinton News Network-Clinton stands for Hillary Clinton you idiots] ABC..you are modern day 21st Century far Leftist Socialist….Day Dreaming Losers like all Government Employees in Sri Lanka [bunch of 40HRS per week Only ONLY – Craving for a Lousy Pension Scum…] to Learn about the world you S. Lankans go to Youtube and in Search bar TYPE = ANTI TRUMP MEDIA…..If you have an Hones Heart and of course a SPINE go through at least 10 Videos [your very fist time]

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    Dear editor this article you will be receiving truck load of comments whining “Issues regarding american politics not relevant to this country”

    but true to the matter is sri Lanka is heavily dependent on european and North American export markets… but what do they care. Vast majority of sri Lankan are not knowledgeable nor do they care about other countries political turmoil as long as their stomachs get filled up
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    You see sri Lankan race to my understanding is one of the most selfish and greedy have no care about rest of the world. what is remarkable of them since independent these animals have managed to survive buy portraying and an utter impostress fabricated lie about themselves to rest of the world
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    Their 1000 Upon 1000 upon S.h.e.t.t.y…Culture surpasses Every Civilization on Earth = BULL S…T
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    …..about how their culture and rotting way of life heavily Influenced by Indians borrowed religion (Buddhism)

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    Mr. Pooten. Read this whether you can understand. OBAMA became socialist by offering some billions to bankrupt Lehman brothers while Poor whose investments and houses went belly up were killing each other. Deep State did not like it. they believe only in material world, pyramid world of the almighty in which almighty preaches the pastors in turn who exploits the human and down ward. We Asians believe in cyclical world and every thing that appeared vanishes one day. Some how end of my story is, For Mr. TRUMP Building the wall is history. He tried to bomb Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. those things are also not right now. So, TRUMP goes for another Socialist attempt to address to the poor..As some one from US says, the Catholic conservative one, that is true, Most Asians are used to WORK VERY HARD AND SAVE. SO THEY COME WITH SOME MONEY IN THEIR HANDS. THAT IS NOT EARNED MILLIONS FOR SOME COLLEGE DEGREE.

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    1. Mexico did not pay for the wall
    2. Mexico did not pay for the wall
    3. Mexico did not pay for the wall

    Trade deficits are at an all time high. Tariffs did nothing to help the US farmers; Soybeans could not be sold to China because they turned to alternate suppliers when they were hit with tariffs. They also put tariffs. Idiot average MAGAman does not know that Tariffs are PAID BY THE IMPORTING company and NOT by the Exporting company. So which means, those costs will be passed down to the American consumer. Revenue coming in to the Government from those tariffs are PAID by the American companies. Also budget deficits are at an all time high.
    Tax cuts never benefitted the average man. Conman continues but so many rightwing brainwashed Foxnews Born again Sinhala and Tamil emigrant types believe this conman fatorangeman. Sad.

    Trump is intellectually lazy and a pathological liar. His lies are well documented. But he will win again. He wants to teach Bible studies in public schools. Rightwing Whites and Sinhala-Tamil American Evangelicals love it too. Trump was so lazy he failed to read intelligence briefing dossiers. His own former Chief of Staff has now come out against him. Kelly also says the wall will be a big waste of money and working for Trump was awful.

    Media is one sided and corporate. No surprise there. Either FoxFixed news or CNN taking two opposing points of view.

    Korea summit was a stunt to deflect heat. But he never listened to his own Intel agencies and failed to do homework. A dumb ass suffering from Dunning-Kruger syndrome is the President of the most powerful nation on earth; most of his followers are equally dumb mostly in the south and rural areas where Bible and Guns and hate the gays is the national motto.

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      Shashitharan .[what’s up with TRMP hate rate] Enough with your Pathetic 01st Graders lecture on Tariffs heights and Import Export bla bla bla .Aiyse …you don’t have to whine so much to say you are one the goons who lost out on Yankee dream……Interestingly you kept on writing like Tariffs HAD NO EFFECT ON THE EXPORTERS-IMPORTERS…..how Naive are you….It had a Brilliant effect..just what Local producers expected..That is why US economy mostly the Majority US middle is in a stable outlook for the least 2 years [ Y on the other Let me guess you little schmuck coming from mate :
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      Shashitharan : Do you work for Apparel industry….Hmmmm or I am sorry You must be a GOD DAMN Owner of 5 ROOM-*****5|STAR so called Hotel cabana or some….or may be a some level 05 Executive in a SL S.H.E.T.T….Private bank….some whack job part time lecturer teaching Economics-Accounting [most suited for Y mind set]
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      get a life Aiyse before posting you crappy little economics know how on websites attacking a nation where more than half of people in this rotten Island make a living Thanks to US-EU markets [be thankful we are not being tariffed by them] Y like most in this country do not care about hardships US middle class going through Y only care for Y Next big Promotion.hell with others suffering hardships

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    Typical Lankan Elites after-dinner-gossips start with the necessity of more of ‘The Royal Institutes’ etc. After a few glasses of…..and sniff of…..the gossip degenerates into “Machang Last night I lost SLR……at the Casino”. Just in time an elder comes to the rescue and starts world politics. By the way local politics is taboo.
    The Kumar David Stuff here is the sort of idle discussion.
    .
    As to radical Democrat Alexandria Octavia Cortez Kumar David claims “……..I brought to the attention of Lankan readers 10 months ago when she was not recognised even by the US media……”.
    My my foot!
    Radical Democrat Bernie Sanders’ chances are next to nil.
    Radical Democrat Obama was a ‘dove’ for eight years.
    .
    Where is McCarthyism? A ghost hovering in the background?
    Please address this Kumar David. Do you want to?

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    TRUMP is in big trouble. It is not the democracy as in other countries that is win it by working for the voter. TRUMP has to work for both the voter and for the Council who votes for him or for Bernie sanders Who ever comes, it is a difficult system to bring up. TRUMP’s way is right. but the deep state thinks otherwise. the problem is they have a strange system of Democracy.

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    What ever TRUMP does it needs to satisfy the voters as well as the electoral council. I say start something socialist that makes voters happy. Then electoral council hits the walls and if they go against they will create a mess. Because, it is a very difficult situation and others can only talk.

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    Do not be shocked if Donald Trump wins again. I wrote a column saying there was a possibility that he would win in 2016. When I went to Sri Lanka I told the self-appointed intellectuals I knew the same. I do not recall Mr. David writing here as the expert on Trump’s chances. All he needs is his base and with AOC and others becoming shrieking liberal left, there is no fat chance if they pull to the radical anti capitalism more and more state control economy they espouse. It will take a moderate White Democrat like a successful Governor to take Trump on. The shitty mess he will leave behind will be hard to clean. Obama gave him a far better economy that Obama inherited and growth, jobs etc grew steadily under him. Trump continues that upward trend and benefited greatly from the better economy he inherited.
    He hates Obama and everything Obama did he will undo with no rational thought and for no rhyme of reason. That is the reality we live in now in the US; not sure where Mr. David lives but even yesterday at the movies I saw a MAGA redcap white guy at the movies…DJIA is doing well and economy continues to grow. Those will be the main issues unless, and I repeat unless he is indicted on Russian collusion; so far no indication that will happen.
    Democrats trying to impeach him will boomerang on them like how the Clinton impeachement backfired on the Republicans. Healthcare is the key. If Ds do not address that they will get an asswhupping in the next cycle of elections too in 2020. Caveat is will he be indicted on real Russian collusion. Him silencing Porn Stars and other lovers does not matter to Americans. It would have ONLY matter if Obama did the same sort of fornications because Obama was black.

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    Sad to see Professor David has still not been cured of his Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    Cohen is a convicted liar and spent 10 hours meeting with a number of Democrats (getting coached) before his ‘testimony’. The man has zero credibility.

    Mueller investigation will reveal there was no Russian collusion – why do you think that this has gone on for 2 years? I have yet to see one shred of evidence to support this nonsense.

    What is coming out is the collusion of the Clinton campaign and the surprising lack of charges against Hillary Clinton. Not to mention the blatant influence peddling at the Clinton Foundation.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (you should at least get her name right) is nothing but an actress ( a real life NPC meme!). Don’t take my word for it this has been well documented – do your own research!

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    Part 2 (apologies for the lack of spacing in the previous piece)
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    The left hate Trump and will do anything to try anything to get him out of Office. The fact that they have failed says a lot about who Trump is.
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    Trump has achieved a great deal (that the left wing media fail to report). Far more than Obama and his toxic Identity Politics..
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    What is the issue with meeting with Kim Jong Un? The fact that Trump is actually prepared to try and work out a deal is a good thing. Right? A huge improvement over previous Presidents who did nothing.
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    What’s the problem with building a wall? Been done throughout history – because walls work!
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    Democrats have vastly overestimated the % of people who support their crazy, radical agenda.
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    Trump will win by a landslide in 2020!
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    The reaction from the left will once again make for great entertainment.

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