Author Archives: Steve Link

About Steve Link

In Namibia with the U.S. Peace Corps July 2014 - July 2016.

Wake Up “Journalists”


“Only a year ago, candidate Trump presented himself as a social liberal seeking to move the Republican Party left on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.

He vowed that he would do more than Democrat Hillary Clinton to protect LGBT people. He defended the rights of Caitlyn Jenner, the country’s most well-known transgender advocate, to use whichever bathroom she wanted in Trump Tower. And he added “Q” to his discussion of the “LGBTQ community” in his Republican National Convention speech to show he was in the know.

“People are people to me, and everyone should be protected,” he told The Washington Post in a May 2016 interview.”


[Alt Fake News]


Good read…

Why you should care:  Because institutions and reputations are built over lifetimes but can crumble almost overnight.

The author teaches at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and was deputy director and acting director of the CIA from 2000 to 2004. Follow him on Twitter: @mclaughlinSAIS.


Amid the many controversies roiling Washington these days, there is a troubling trend that is greater than the sum of the parts: America’s singular leadership role, held with minimal challenge since the end of World War II, is rapidly fading. A man who campaigned on the promise of making America great again now risks doing just the opposite.

The United States’ geopolitical stature is based on much more than military power — although might is one of its foundational components. One by one, the administration is allowing the other elements of leadership, reputational and institutional alike, to slip away. The United States can regain them only if the administration develops a more disciplined communication and policy process — and only if the president comes to understand that giving in to impulsive and fact-challenged anger is the opposite of “presidential.”

The power to inspire was the greatest asset of the U.S., and we fear it’s gone.

On the reputation front, America has been admired for the strength, integrity and stability of its political system — and for the values it has always projected. Now we are seen with a mixture of disillusionment and sorrow. As a European ambassador said to me recently: “The power to inspire was the greatest asset of the U.S., and we fear it’s gone.”

Why is this? It’s pretty simple, really. The world has seen even weak American presidents as embodying the values people associated with America. But the long trail of sloppy, inaccurate or false statements that culminated in President Trump’s labeling of his predecessor as a felon on March 5 signal to the world that they cannot trust what the American president says.

The issue is not academic. I assure most foreigners that we’ll muddle through somehow with domestic issues such as health care and tax reform — despite all the partisan wrangling. But I cannot assure them that the Trump administration can manage an international crisis that requires steadiness, careful coordination, resistance to foolish impulse or anger and the confidence of allies. While the new national security adviser, H. R. McMaster, is well-qualified to inject some discipline into the process, he’s got a steeper hill to climb than any of his predecessors since Watergate in 1974.

The president’s actions are not merely sowing divisions within his Republican Party; they also put serious members in an ethical quandary. It mirrors the ethical danger experienced in authoritarian societies and described by Vaclav Havel, the anticommunist dissident who became free Czechoslovakia’s first president. He said citizens and politicians under authoritarian rule had become “morally ill” because they were forced “to say one thing while thinking another.”

This is surely the dilemma serious Republicans now face, knowing their leader has spoken falsely but searching for ways to not acknowledge that. You can sense their discomfort and hear their resort to political bafflegab. Though there are exceptions — Senator John McCain and a few other truth-tellers — their situation must be challenging.

The president’s actions are not merely sowing divisions within his Republican Party; they also put serious members in an ethical quandary.

Beyond these reputational issues, administration actions are weakening the domestic and international institutions on which American leadership has rested. Driven domestically by sophomoric ideas like “deconstruction” of the “deep state,” the administration has carelessly demeaned the judiciary, the intelligence community and a free media. This hits the rest of the world as worrisome nonsense, not leadership.

Meanwhile, international alliances and institutions that both reflect and sustain American leadership in the world are shaken. To their credit, American officials such as Defense Secretary Mattis, Vice President Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kelly told world leaders at the Munich Security Conference last month that the U.S. solidly supports its commitments. But all the corridor talk was about whether the president would say the same thing — and mean it.

For decades, American leadership has been marked by the propagation of big ideas. Institutions such as NATO, the EU, the UN, the IMF and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe were all created, inspired or supported by the U.S. The ideas behind them were bold, outward-looking and transformational. Today, we are closing off to the world through talk of walls, travel bans, withdrawal from trade agreements and a massive spending cut (almost 30 percent) proposed for our State Department — the institution most directly responsible for engaging the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, we’re letting China corner the transformational idea market with its creation of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (most of our closest allies have joined), its New Silk Road linking China to Europe and the Middle East and its Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership. The latter will fill the vacuum the administration left when it hastened to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Some will ask why American leadership matters anyway. Why should America be the standard-bearer for democracy, the rule of law, etc.? After all, we’ve made our mistakes and have often fallen short of our loftiest goals. Perhaps American exceptionalism was a mere fluke of history.

The points are worth raising — and rebutting. After the second World War, the U.S. dedicated itself to leading the world away from the most violent and destructive period in modern human history, and in this it succeeded. It would be hard to overstate the magnitude of its achievement. Two things were key to its success. First, policies that muted whatever part of human nature that permitted the global holocaust of the 20th century. Second, America’s unique blending of self-interest with the pursuit of universally appealing values.

If the administration undervalues the role of American leadership, there are others who will move into the vacuum regionally and globally. Russia, China and Iran come to mind. And the world they want will not be in any way compatible with the vision that has traditionally animated the United States.

author bio image  John McLaughlin, Senior Contributor 

“Everything’s fine right here. Nothing is wrong. Everyone speaks with one voice. We are a family…” — @SaraJBenincasa

Give It a Chance

Who’s next? _________

Perspective: Having coffee in your kitchen one morning and you sense something is not quite right. The next instant you are no more. Some asteroids are too fast to detect early. “On March 23, 1989 an asteroid passed within earths orbit only 400,000 km away. This asteroid is presumed to be larger than an aircraft carrier with kinetic energy over 50,000 times as powerful as the Hiroshima nuclear bomb explosion. This asteroid was only detected six hours after it passed through our orbit, and would it have collided, millions of people would have died instantaneously. Although it was a very fortunate near miss, it is because of this asteroid (named 1989FC) that the threat of asteroids and comets was finally brought into the political arena.”


… and by heart disease: 610,000 annual deaths in the U.S.

Trumped Up News


I’m sure that by now it is clear to all that in 1949 when Donald John Trump was just three years old he was abducted and replaced with this KGB agent, a young boy who had already received twelve months of deep cover training. Unfortunately, his parents Fred and Mary, never knew the difference as the boy’s nannie, also KGB, skillfully hid the truth from the family. Only when he met and wed Ivana Zelníčková in 1977 was his subconscious identity triggered: the world’s most dangerous sleeper agent.

Real or Fake?

Turkey assumes USA staged Istanbul night club attack

06.01.2017 | Source:

Turkey assumes USA staged Istanbul night club attack. 59557.jpeg

Source: Twitter

Turkey may revise the question about the deployment of the airbase of the US-led international coalition in Incirlik, Reuters reports. The Turkish administration may make the decision due to Ankara’s disappointment with the lack of US support for its operations in Syria.

Noteworthy, soon after the most recent terrorist act at a night club in Istanbul, Turkish officials suggested the country should close the US air base in Incirlik and finally turn away from Washington to look for new allies.

In an interview with Sputnik, authoritative security expert Jevad Galiyashevich noted that the US administration of Barack Obama was violating the laws of its own country, while President Obama was arming terrorists instead of fighting with them. The terrorist attack at a night club in Istanbul came as an obvious attempt to avenge Turkish President Erdogan for his rapprochement with Russia. The Americans put their terrorist dogs on Erdogan to humiliate him and put pressure on Turkey to make the country step away from its plans to regulate the crisis in Syria, the expert added.

The attack on Reina night club in Istanbul took place on New Year’s night. A terrorist armed with an automatic rifle opened fire on people inside the club. There were more than 700 guests in the club at the moment of the attack. The terrorist killed 39 people, including the security guard and 16 foreigners, 69 were wounded.

Turkish newspaper Yeni Akit tweeted a photo collage of outgoing US President Obama as the Istanbul terrorist, on which Obama does bear a striking resemblance to the Istanbul shooter. The caption to the picture said: “Clearest photo of the murderer.”


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Honoring the Peace Corps Tradition Dec.29, 2016

“Peace Corps…. Say that aloud a few times. Then listen. As those words roll off the tongue, your spirit should soar. Just hearing the Peace Corps in a sentence sends the message of solace around the world.”

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Venturing farther afield than DC

“When pondering his ‘new’ foreign policy initiatives, President Elect Donald Trump should venture farther afield than Washington, D.C. Like John Kennedy, the Peace Corps should be his message of assurance to the outside world; and that he is serious. Consider the alternatives. Over the past five decades, the prior U.S. regimes including the current one, all with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan, pursued regime change through military force as the nexus of their foreign policy. If America truly wants to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of its neighbors, then the U.S. government has to turn 180 degrees. A pivot to a revived Peace Corps is a good start; it is an excellent catalyst to make America great again.”