Judge for yourself:
Donald Trump outlined an unabashedly [isolationist] approach to world affairs Monday, telling the Washington Post’s editorial board that he questions the need for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has formed the backbone of Western security policies since the Cold War.
The meeting at the Post covered a range of issues, including media libel laws, violence at his rallies, climate change, NATO and the U.S. presence in Asia....
Trump said that U.S. involvement in NATO may need to be significantly diminished in the coming years, breaking with nearly seven decades of consensus in Washington. “We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” Trump said, adding later, “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”
First of all, I could see how the argument for withdrawing from NATO could have been made twenty-five years ago, after the winning of the Cold War, the Soviet collapse, and the ensuing "holiday from history". The North Atlantic Treaty was a self-defensive reaction to the Soviet occupation and annexation of eastern Europe following World War II and the vast conventional and nuclear forces forwardly deployed there that threatened to overrun the rest of Europe. After the Evil Empire was no more and Russia was, if not an ally, then at least no longer an enemy, NATO did become an entity in search of a mission, and shrivel to a shell of what the Atlantic Alliance once was.
But now the Russians have re-armed, regained their imperial ambitions, and are a threat to the U.S. and Europe once again. NATO's original purpose has, thanks to Barack Hussein Obama, been resurrected, and the Atlantic Alliance is needed anew. Which makes it convenient that we're still fully engaged with it, even if there's no military muscle to back it up. And that argues for spending MORE on our NATO participation, not less.
Trump says "we can't afford it," but we're only spending about 15% of the annual federal budget on the military in toto, with NATO being a fraction of that. Clearly the Pentagon is not what is driving the runaway federal debt spiral, but rather entitlement spending - which Trump has already taken off the chopping block.
You know the old saying: the most expensive military is the one that's second-best. Given that national defense is one of the few constitutional expenditures of federal resources, what does that say about Trump's "managerial prowess"?
And he doesn't want to shiv just the E.U. - which would be a boon favor to his pal Vlad, by the way - but our Pacific Rim allies as well:
Trump sounded a similar note in discussing the U.S. presence in the Pacific. He questioned the value of massive military investments in Asia and wondered aloud whether the United States still was capable of being an effective peacekeeping force there....
We're not now, no; but that's because Barack Obama has gutted American power, both physical and psychological. And that's why the world is spiraling towards Armageddon. The only way to prevent planetary self-destruction is to rebuild and reassert that American power, and at this late stage of the game that will probably require war to accomplish, as it did in World War II. The only question is whether we initiate it on our terms or wait to be attacked, invaded, and destroyed. Either way, war is coming.
And Trump wants to withdraw from the Pacific and hand it over to Beijing - the country with which he wants to provoke a trade/shooting war, remember - as a ChiComm lake. You'll forgive me if I'm finding it difficult not to lapse back into questioning whether the elevators reach the top floor of Trump Tower once again.
The Donald is every bit as practically pro-jihadist as his would-be predecessor as well:
“I do think it’s a different world today, and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore,” Trump said. “I think it’s proven not to work, and we have a different country than we did then. We have $19 trillion in debt. We’re sitting, probably, on a bubble. And it’s a bubble that if it breaks, it’s going to be very nasty. I just think we have to rebuild our country.”
Nation-building is not the problem. It can be done. The problem is we don't have the patience and the commitment to see it through. The Marshall Plan was "nation-building"; it was necessary to rebuild allies against the Soviet threat and keep communist movements from taking hold in Western Europe. We "nation-built" Japan after World War II for the same reason, turning an enemy into a friend. Ditto South Korea. All of those "nation-building" exercises were successful because we didn't quit and give up and saw them through to fruition. And they were much cheaper options than withdrawing from them, letting them spiral back into chaos, and incurring fresh wars against us would have been.
Were Afghanistan and Iraq failures in this regard? The former was to an extent because Afghanistan was never "built" in the first place; every previous instance had been with advanced, industrialized countries; we re-built them, and the corresponding indigenous culture didn't have to be imparted. The Afghans squat in anciently primitive conditions, and attempting to bequeath them a modern, advanced culture they were not prepared to inculcate and uphold was problematic.
But Iraq? That nation-building exercise, while not easy given the Islamic Fundamentalist opposition, was a success. George W. Bush handed off to Barack Obama a reformed, rehabilitated, allied, and quiescent country, as well as an ideally geostrategically located beachhead and staging area in the heart of the Middle East from which American power and influence could be projected into Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Which was why the Global Jihad fought so bitterly to destabilize it. It has only disintegrated because Obama pulled the plug on it and threw away our victory there, allowing it to spiral back into chaos, and incur new wars against us, which will cost vastly more than simply remaining engaged in Iraq would have.
It's the price of benevolent global hegemony and American leadership. A price we used to be <AHEM> strong and honorable and realistic enough to pay. Traits that do not describe leftwingnut Democrats like Donald Trump:
He added: “I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’re blown up. We build another one, we get blown up. We rebuild it three times and yet we can’t build a school in Brooklyn. We have no money for education because we can’t build in our own country. At what point do you say, ‘Hey, we have to take care of ourselves?’ So, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that. But at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially the inner cities.” [emphases added]
"We can't build a school in Brooklyn"? Since when (Must....resist....eminent....domain....jokes....)? "We have no money for education"? We spend more in this country at all levels on education than we do on defense. And what the hell do we get for it? Socialized education mills that pump out ignorant, untrained, angry, indoctrinated Marxist-Alinksyist drones, some of whose pastimes of late have been shutting down Trump's campaign rallies. This is trademark leftist doggerel, excuse-making, false parallels, and obfuscation. Any actual conservative would realize and argue that the best education policy is to privatize schools through school choice vouchers, charter schools, and abolition of the Re-Education Commissariat, and point out that there's no mutual exclusivity between "building a school in Brooklyn" and building one in Baghdad, and that once a new allied country has been rebuilt, they can do their own school building, as our NATO and Pacific Rim allies have been able to do for decades.
Why does the "Republican" presidential front-runner sound so uncannily like a liberal Democrat? Is it because he's playing to his audience? As I predicted the other day, Trump's AIPAC speech was thoroughly faux Zionist.
So what of his Obamunistic foreign policy doctrine as he set it forth for the WaPo? Is it real, or is it Memorex? All I can do is take you back to that GOP debate in South Carolina, the first one in which Trump was seriously challenged and treated like the frontrunner, and the "real Trump" that emerged from that onslaught which spouted Bush Derangement Syndrome, 9/11 Trutherism, and Code Pink's views on Operation Iraqi Freedom, among other liberal left commie bastard garbage. That's why I say that, whatever conman fabrications the millionaire slumlord calculatedly crafts for his particular audience of the moment, his instincts are hard-left, and he is at heart a liberal Democrat.
That is the language he knows how to speak, because it's his native tongue.
A pity that Senator Cruz is attributing it to "ignorance":
“Trump’s policy idea [on NATO] is entirely consistent with Obama withdrawing from Europe,” Cruz said in a televised town hall on CNN, and would give Russian President Vladimir Putin “a foreign policy victory.” …
Cruz, however, said that Trump’s remarks were “really quite astonishing,” speculating that Trump is ignorant of the United States’ diplomatic relations with Ukraine. Once the third-largest nuclear power in the world, Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear weapons in return for an assurance that the U.S. would help protect its sovereignty.
“I bet you dollars to donuts Donald Trump has no idea about that,” Cruz said. Given the United States’ lack of leadership there, what other country would ever voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons now, Cruz asked rhetorically. He tied Trump’s suggestion to Barack Obama’s foreign policy approach.
“Trump’s foreign policy is the Obama-Hillary ‘leading from behind'” strategy, he said.
Exit question: On foreign policy, as so many other issues, how would a Trumpidency be any fundamentally different from President Hillary?
UPDATE: Real or Memorex?
Trump on Fox News this morning regarding the ISIS attack on Brussels:
“I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what’s going on.” [emphasis added]
At least ostensibly consistent with what he's said on this topic before. But remember, he offered this answer on a center-right network.
Later this morning, on a center-left network - namely, CBS - Trump said the following to that same question:
“I would be extremely careful about people from the Middle East coming into our country,” he said on CBS This Morning. “We should be vigilant at our borders.”
When pressed for specifics, Trump said he would want “good documentation” from travelers…
Trump said his main focus is on better immigration surveillance, not a total shutdown.
“I didn’t say shut it down,” he said. “I said you have to be very careful. We have to be very, very strong and vigilant at the borders. We have to be tough." [emphasis added]
Amazingly, and in a harbinger of the general campaign to come, the CBSTM anchors called BS on his answer: "Didn’t you already say, literally this very morning, that the borders should be closed?" Which he did - to a center-right audience. But this was a center-left audience, so he brazenly lied by claiming that what he MEANT with his earlier comment was "closing up our borders" to Muslims "without documentation". To which the CBSTM anchors followed up by asking him about jihadist operatives who DO have in-order documentation, like Salah Abdeslam, the ISIS commander of the Paris attacks last November who is a native-born Frenchman. To which Trump replied, "humina-humina-humina-humina....", which speaks to Senator Cruz's point about his abysmal ignorance - and hard-left instincts.
This is what you're about to inflict upon our party as its nominee, Trumplicans. Are you sure you don't want to re-think this madness, while it still even now might not be too late?
UPDATE II: More Clintonoid triangulation that's getting Hillary to Trump's right on another issue.