FAREED’S GLOBAL BRIEFING: Enough Is Enough, America

Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team, compiled by Global Briefing editor Jason Miks. 

Enough Is Enough, America

The interception of suspicious devices intended for former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton among others should be a warning, as if one were needed, about the dangerous path on which political rhetoric is taking America, writes Ed Kilgore for New York Magazine.

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Maybe today’s incidents and the shooting last year at a Congressional baseball game “were the isolated acts of deranged individuals. But with many thousands of people distraught and despairing over politics in a nation as heavily armed as ours, the metaphorical ‘mobilization’ already under way could become literal more easily than we might normally imagine,” Kilgore writes.

“So let’s try to get a grip and recognize that while the stakes of this and upcoming elections are indeed high and that passionate commitment to politics is an act of civic patriotism, this is not the Spanish Civil War and we should not treat our fellow citizens as cannon fodder or proper objects for a firing squad. Let’s ‘demobilize’ our rhetoric, please, before it becomes prophetic.”


What Trump Gets Right About the Migrant Caravan…

The migrant caravan heading north from Central America is a political gift for President Trump ahead of the midterms, suggests David Frum in The Atlantic. But the President has a point on the issue, and his opponents ignore that at their peril.

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“When Germany temporarily suspended its border rules in August 2015, almost a million migrants surged into the country within the next four months. That surge continued into 2016. Its political effects linger still: It was crucial to the British vote to quit the European Union, to the election of a reactionary government in Poland, to the political revival of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, and to the collapse of center-left parties in France, Italy, Sweden, and Germany,” Frum writes.

“For Trump’s opponents, the caravan represents a trap. Has Trump’s radical nativism so counter-radicalized them that they have internalized the caravan message against any border enforcement at all? If yes, they will not help immigrants. They will only marginalize themselves—and American politics will follow the European path in which anti-immigration parties of the extreme right cannibalize the political center.”

…And What He’s Probably Wrong About

President Trump warned this week that the United States faced an emergency as “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed” into the migrant caravan. Alex Nowrasteh suggests for Cato at Liberty that the “clear implication” that there is a terrorism threat from the caravan is misplaced.

“The members of the migrant caravan will either apply for asylum at the US border or try to enter illegally. From 1975 through the end of 2017, 9 Americans have been murdered in attacks committed on US soil by 20 foreign-born terrorists who entered illegally or as asylees,” Nowrasteh writes.

“As far as we can tell, virtually all the members of the migrant caravan come from Central America while the asylum-seeker and illegal immigrant terrorists who committed or attempted to commit attacks on US soil came from Cuba, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Canada, Algeria, Somalia, Macedonia, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan. Not a single terrorist in any visa category came from Mexico or Central America during the 43-year period.”

Team Trump Tries Good Cop,
Bad Cop with China

President Trump is skipping some key upcoming summits in Asia, dispatching Vice President Mike Pence in his place. The tone of the rhetoric the two have aimed at China has been markedly different recently. That’s probably no accident, writes Brahma Chellaney for The National. In fact, it looks like a classic good cop, bad cop routine.

“Mr Trump’s handling of China reflects his reluctance to antagonize Mr Xi or impose sanctions on China even in response to egregious human-rights abuses,” Chellaney writes.

“The US president is a great believer in the idea that a good rapport between heads of government can significantly shape the relationship between the countries they lead. He also prides himself on being a great negotiator and deal-maker.

“While letting his vice president forthrightly articulate America’s concerns over China, Mr Trump is seeking to preserve space to cut a possible deal with Mr Xi on trade.”

The Smart Way to Punish
Saudi Arabia

The killing of Jamal Khashoggi raises the question of how Saudi Arabia should be punished, write Dan Byman and Michael O’Hanlon for The Washington Post. There’s an obvious answer—and it happens to be the right thing to do anyway.

“Complete victory over the Houthi-led and Iranian-supported forces of northern Yemen is not attainable for Saudi Arabia and its mostly southern and Sunni allies. Nor is it necessary,” they write.

“An ongoing Iranian presence there, while undesirable, is more tolerable than Iran’s foothold in the Levant. Over time, moreover, a more stable Yemen will need and want Iran less; Tehran thrives on chaos and conflict most of all.

“To ensure that Riyadh takes such a more realistic approach in Yemen, Washington should make its military assistance for the war conditional. The United States has considerable influence. Saudi Arabia depends, in part, on the United States and US contractors for intelligence and logistics.”

Asia Can’t Expect Another Round of Miracles

Countries like Japan and South Korea were able to pull off an “economic miracle” on the back of manufacturing jobs. Don’t expect poorer Asian nations today to do the same, writes James Crabtree for the Nikkei Asian Review.

“Rather than developing domestic exporting industries in sectors like electronics and semiconductors, as Japan and South Korean did before them, the likes of Cambodia have picked up bits and pieces of global supply chains, winning far fewer good blue-collar jobs,” Crabtree writes.

“Automation is a tempting scapegoat here, but so far neither industrial robots nor clever algorithms have been widely deployed in such low-end sectors. The World Bank’s recent report specifically downplayed the risks from so-called ‘sew-bots,’ or job-destroying robots that might replace humans in garment-making in countries like Vietnam.

“Instead, Asia’s job’s conundrum is linked more closely to changing patterns of global manufacturing, especially as companies in emerging markets connect to international supply chains only in piecemeal fashion.”


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