Now that we have learned CIA director and secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jung-un over Easter, it is time to acknowledge the obvious: the foreign policy of political novice Donald Trump has been vastly more successful that that of the supposedly experienced Barack Obama.To be fair, it wasn't an awfully high bar.
And vastly is an understatement. Obama's foreign policy was a disaster, beginning with the peculiar apology tour that mystified much of its Middle Eastern audience, through the yet more peculiar (misspelled) reset button with Russia that further mystified Sergei Lavrov, on to Obama's overheard whisper to Medvedev telling Putin he would be more accommodating on missile defense after the election (imagine the apoplectic reaction of our media if Trump did that!) to the Libyan war leading to the assassination of Qaddafi (the only Arab leader to voluntarily denuclearize) that created a failed state and a raft of refugees to Italy and elsewhere, and, of course, the rapid exit from Iraq that gave rise to ISIS.
And this omits the equally egregious examples - the failure to enforce the red line on Assad's use of chemical weapons, about which he naively believed Putin, and the never-signed, never published Iran Deal itself, which has done nothing but enrich the mullahs who wreak havoc from Venezuela to Yemen. This duplicitous and unverifiable non-agreement prolonged the monstrous Syrian civil war, causing the greatest refugee crisis since World War II and changing the character of Europe possibly forever.
. . .
To begin with, there's the near-annihilation of ISIS. Then there's the renewed alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States without, miracle of miracles, the ostracism of Israel. Indeed, while announcing the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem (with little protest by ME standards), the Israeli-Saudi alliance has flourished. Does this mean an solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem is imminent? Probably not. But at least the decades of moribund unchanging policy since Oslo have finally been bypassed and new perspectives made possible.
He has also so far managed the Syrian gas attacks with an intelligent level of response, escalating it carefully.
And then there is the North Korea situation. Not one American president made a dent in it. There are no guarantees, but Trump seems to be on the brink of.... something. It's exciting to watch because there is actually a possibility of real peace in a part of the world that has not seen it in well over half a century. Trump, the peacemaker, balancing North Korea, South Korea, China and Japan? Who would have thought it? Not our media. They hate him so much if he cured cancer they would think it was a trick - or a clever way to sabotage Obamacare.
The so-called trade war is a part of foreign policy too. Our media and some of our business people and the knee-jerk political opposition went into paroxysms when Trump threatened tariffs with China. But how else could a rebalancing of our trade with our greatest competitor ever be effectuated? Certainly not by the jawing of stodgy trade officials who have been at it for decades with no results and little incentive to have any. Now it looks as if it may succeed. (What's surprising is that our media didn't get what Trump was up to in the first place, negotiating. Scratch that. They probably did. They just couldn't stand it because it was Donald doing it. That's how stunted they are.)
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Reason #5917 That Trump Was Elected
Trump Vastly Better than Obama at Foreign Policy