Donald Trump became President for a couple of fundamental reasons.
Immigration was certainly a key component. Building a border wall and enforcing our laws – resonated.
Putting an end to the US getting robbed over and over again by nations the world over – in awful trade deals, in Intellectual Property (IP) theft,… – resonated.
Engaging in massive regulations reduction and tax reform – all to make our companies more globally competitive – resonated.
The theme underlying all these victorious campaign tenets – was and is “America First.”
We no longer wish to be the world’s open house and welfare state.
We are no longer wish to cut awful, anti-US deals that suck trillions of dollars and millions of jobs out of our country.
We are no longer wish to sit idly by when outright thieves like China rob our IP creators blind – to the tune of trillions of dollars more.
And we are going to have DC engage in policy that actually helps our nation’s companies – rather than hampers their global efforts.
DCs decades-long imposition of “America Last” – was to end.
To get to America First – we must attend to things both great and small. This is the international-policy-version – of “Broken Windows” crime policy:
“(V)isible signs of crime, anti-social behavior and civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder, including serious crimes.
“The theory thus suggests that policing methods that target minor crimes such as vandalism, public drinking and fare evasion help to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crimes.”
Broken Windows works – because it is in tune with human nature. If you look unserious about the small things – where the required attention and effort is small – the bad guys will very quickly begin pushing the big things.
The bad guys will view as weak – as a push-over. Exactly against what Trump campaigned.
Internationally, Broken Windows application looks very much like this:
“A lawyer for Low Taek Jho is criticising the Malaysian government for ‘illegitimately’ seizing Equanimity, the fugitive businessman’s luxury yacht.
“(A) spokesman for Low, also known as Jho Low, said the seizure of the US$250mil (RM1bil) yacht by the Malaysian authorities was against court rulings in Indonesia and the United States.
“The seizure showed ‘just how quickly the rule of law had disappeared….’
“‘It is a violation of an Indonesian law and court decision by a politically motivated Malaysian government bent on advancing its own political agenda with little regard to existing court rulings or basic legal rights….’”
The yacht in question – was in the possession of US international law enforcement. And the Malaysian government – just took it.
Ok – some background on the yacht in question and its seizure.
“Malaysia’s state-owned investment fund, 1MDB, was supposed to attract foreign investment. Instead, it has spurred criminal and regulatory investigations around the world that have cast an unflattering spotlight on financial deal-making, election spending and political patronage under former Prime Minister Najib Razak….
“The U.S. Justice Department says more than $4.5 billion flowed from the fund, through a complex web of opaque transactions and fraudulent shell companies, to finance spending sprees by corrupt officials and their associates. Swiss investigators say up to $7 billion flowed through 1MDB and one of its units.
“The U.S. alleges that a small coterie of Malaysians, led by a businessman known as Low Taek Jho, diverted money from 1MDB into personal accounts disguised to look like legitimate businesses, and kicked back some of those funds to officials.
“Some of the money is alleged to have ended up with Najib and his family. That includes $681 million that landed in Najib’s personal bank account, according to U.S. prosecutors. Malaysia’s then attorney general, backed by Saudi authorities, said in 2016 the $681 million was a donation from the Saudi Arabian royal family, much of which was returned. U.S. investigators say the money instead came from, and was returned to, an offshore entity allegedly controlled by Low.”
The US Justice Department is involved in prosecuting this mess – because US interests were a part of the fund’s giant web of corruption. Which means US interests lost giant coin.
And we were the ones who – in the process of our prosecution of our case – seized Jho Low’s yacht. Which can – upon Jho Low’s conviction – be sold as a way to start making ripped off Jho Low victims…less ripped off.
And then the Malaysian government – took the boat from us.
Which means when this happens – we should say something.
“‘The visit provides a great opportunity for both Malaysia and the United States of America to discuss a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest,’ said a Wisma Putra statement.”
It also provides the US with a great opportunity – to demand Malaysia return the boat.
Mahathir – comfortably ensconced in the Prime Minister’s palatial digs in Kuala Lumpor – is probably enjoying a good laugh at our expense.
Look – we’re not here to prosecute the gigantic fund fraud case.
We’re here to say – there is no way the Trump Administration should allow Malaysia’s brazen act to stand.
We should immediately demand the Malaysian government return the yacht. And then immediately make sure they do.
An almost $1 billion yacht – is a really nice yacht. But in the grand scheme of the case – it’s relatively small.
But our allowing Malaysia to take and then keep it – sets a REALLY bad precedent.
It’s a Broken Window. If we allow Malaysia’s theft to stand – it says to nefarious actors the world over that Trump talked a good America First game…but didn’t so much mean what he said.
America First – must be enforced the way the Roman Empire enforced Civis Romans. As aptly described on TV’s “West Wing”:
“Did you know that a thousand years ago a Roman citizen could walk across the face of the known world free of the fear of molestation? He could walk across the Earth unharmed. Cloaked only in the words ‘Civis Romanus’ – ‘I am a Roman citizen.’
“So great was the retribution of Rome – universally understood as certain – should any harm befall even one of its citizens.”
To prove he is serious on the big things – Trump must ensure enforcement of the small things.
Like getting back this yacht from Malaysia.