Zimbabwe’s first president was named Canaan Banana. As head of state
(1980-1987), President Banana never really commanded respect and so in 1982 a
law was passed to ban jokes about the president’s name such as headlines which
read “Mugabe Slips on Banana” or comments by journalists saying “attempts to contact Mr Banana were fruitless”.
Former US President Harry Truman (1945-1953) was the first
president to be given a Secret Service code name - “General”.
Improvements in telecommunications technology at the time meant that there was
a new threat of enemy forces listening in on Secret Service communications, and from then on all presidents, their
families, senior staff and vice-presidents were given code names. The code
names of US presidents are as follows:
Harry Truman – General
Dwight Eisenhower – Providence
John F. Kennedy – Lancer
Lyndon Johnson – Volunteer
Richard Nixon – Searchlight
Gerald Ford – Passkey
Jimmy Carter – Deacon
Ronald Reagan – Rawhide
George H. W. Bush – Timberwolf
Bill Clinton – Eagle
George W. Bush – Tumbler, later Trailblazer
Barack Obama – Renegade
Donald Trump – Mogul
(The code name for current US Vice-President, Mike Pence, is Hoosier)
Almost two months into the Trump Administration, the United States has a choice. Does it want to continue a strong partnership with Mexico? Or will it throw away years of a successful, peaceful, and mutually beneficial relationship due to the ignorance of its President? Normally this would not even be a question. But these are not normal times. When the American President can undo with a tweet what has taken us decades to build, Mexicans have to wonder whether the United States is a reliable partner and what the future of our relationship will look like.
President Trump insists on framing U.S.-Mexico relations in simplistic and disrespectful terms. In his view, it is a zero-sum game, with Mexicans “taking advantage” of their northern neighbors…Frankly, the United States is fortunate to have Mexico as a neighbor and partner. We are a peaceful, democratic, cooperative country with one of the largest economies in the world. We are eternally bound together by geography, by trade, by family, by culture, and by affinity.
We collaborate with the U.S. on everything from commerce to combating drug trafficking to the environment to counterterrorism. Just a few examples: Mexican engineers in Querétaro design jet engines for General Electric that are then built by workers in Ohio. Mexican officials helped thwart a plot by Iranian agents to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. The largest attendance for an NFL game ever was in Mexico (Cowboys vs. Oilers), home to 23 million NFL fans, myself included. Nearly 2 million U.S. citizens live in Mexico (the largest community of U.S. expats in the world). We work together in every area imaginable, and we are both the richer for it.
The U.S. and Mexican economies are complementary. We do not compete with each other; we make each other more competitive in the global market. Mexico is the second-largest destination for U.S. exports and the single largest destination for exports from California, Arizona, and Texas. We buy more American goods than Japan, Germany, and the U.K. do combined. Fourteen million Mexican tourists came to the United States in 2015 and spent around $10 billion…Our bilateral partnership is not predicated on one side losing and the other side winning: Our economies are so integrated that each is weaker without the other.
Most Americans know that Mexican immigrants are not violent criminals. They know that they are brave and hard-working and make enormous contributions to the U.S. economy…Mexicans know that our differences are not with the American people, but with an American President who began his campaign with racist attacks against Mexican immigrants, whose cruel policies have entire communities living in fear, and who seems intent on making an enemy out of a friend.
I have met U.S. Presidents from both political parties, and I know that the American dream has much in common with the Mexican one. Mexicans believe in the strength of the family, the dignity conferred by hard work, and the worth inherent in every human being. Mexico would much rather be a partner to the United States than an adversary. We would rather tend bridges than build walls. But our alliance must be based on mutual respect. We will not accept a relationship based on threats and insults, contempt for our country, and cruelty toward our citizens. The United States is more prosperous, more secure, and more competitive for having Mexico as its partner. It is up to the United States to decide whether it wants to continue a strong partnership, or whether it will let one bad hombre destroy it.
– Washington Post editorial by Margarita Zavala, a former Mexican congresswoman, former First Lady of Mexico, and the leading contender for the 2018 Mexican Presidential election.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Trump administration is open to direct talks with North Korea as long as the agenda is right — that is, denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
As he prepared to chair a U.N. Security Council meeting on the subject, Tillerson sat down with NPR’s Steve Inskeep to explain his approach. The secretary says North Korea has to come to the table willing to talk about giving up its nuclear weapons.
“You know if you listen to the North Korea, their reason for having nuclear weapons is they believe it is their only pathway to secure the ongoing existence of their regime,” Tillerson explained. “We hope to convince them is that: you do not need these weapons to secure the existence of your regime. … We do not seek a collapse of the regime. We do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula. We seek a denuclearized Korean peninsula,” he stressed, adding he believes that China shares this goal and is beginning to question whether North Korea is a “liability.”