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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/19/21

Trump's and Bannon's Alternate World

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Protest against Republican President Donald Trump
Protest against Republican President Donald Trump
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In a reality-based world, the recent video summit between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping may have gone, in part, something like the following . . .

Xi: "Mr. President, my old friend, our two nations appear to both be plagued by pretenders to political power."

Biden: "Please tell me more, President Xi."

Xi: "You have your predecessor, Mr. Trump, claiming on social media to be the current 45th President of your country. I am plagued by a citizen of this country, Guo Wengui, who, along with your predecessor's chief strategist, Mr. Steve Bannon, has established a so-called 'New Federal State of China' in New York City. Guo is wanted by my nation for a host of crimes including bribery, banking fraud, sexual assault, and kidnapping. We have issued under INTERPOL a Red Notice for Guo's arrest by your authorities and his immediate extradition to China."

Biden: "I'm aware of both of these issues."

Xi: "We should cooperate, then, in ensuring that such illegal pretenders like your predecessor and Guo and Bannon are in no position to further disrupt international relations."

Biden: "I will take your concerns under advisement and my staff will be in contact with your people to come to a mutual accommodation."

In a world governed by sanity, that, or something like it, would have been part of the conversation between Biden and Xi.

Trump, Bannon, and Guo, have been playing an actual game of "Risk." Trump, who claims on letterhead to be the current "45th President," recently upset a diplomatic apple cart by sending his former ambassador to Germany and acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, to the Balkans. Trump claimed that Grenell was his "envoy ambassador" dispatched by the Mar-a-Lago-based rival claimant to the presidency to pursue a reduction in tension between Serbia and Kosovo.

The dispatching of Grenell as an American "envoy ambassador" represents a clear violation by Trump and Grenell of the Logan Act of 1799 which states: "Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly, commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government, or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government, or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years or both."

Trump's pronouncement of Grenell's shadow diplomacy in the Balkans was met with a terse response from the Biden White House: "Outside of his very active imagination, Donald Trump is no longer President and doesn't have any 'envoy ambassadors' representing the United States."

In addition to traveling to Serbia and Kosovo where Grenell spoke at a press conference on the Merdare border crossing between the two countries, Grenell also visited Albania where he met with President Ilir Meta.

Trump and Grenell are not authorized to act on behalf of the United States any more than Bannon's billionaire patron, Guo, is authorized to represent China with his "Himalaya embassy" at East 64th Street in Manhattan, Himalaya Coin cryptocurrency, "New Federal State of China" flag, and other pretenses of sovereignty. Nor do Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, and Guo's "embassy" in New York have any legal status as protected entities under, respectively, the U.S. Constitution and international law. However, it is certain that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's current attempt to nullify federal work health and safety and other laws in his state is a step toward declaring Trump's adopted state of Florida to be somehow outside of federal jurisdiction, a terra nullius floridiana.

The December 26, 1933 Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States stipulates that a sovereign state must possess, at a minimum, the following attributes: a permanent population; a defined territory; a government; and a capacity to enter into relations with other recognized states. Neither Trump's compounds at Mar-a-Lago nor Bedminster constitute sovereign entities from which he can engage in his own foreign policy. Nor does Guo's and Bannon's fantasy Chinese government in midtown Manhattan carry any legality under international law.

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