After years of DC gridlock, Democrat and Republican establishment leaders finally found their kumbaya moment – rejection of Donald J. Trump’s “America First” foreign policy. His first big policy speech, complete with Teleprompters, definitely raised eyebrows by making statements like his administration would “replace randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy and chaos with peace. It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy. It’s time to invite new voices and new visions into the fold.”
For Washington’s (self-proclaimed) intellectual elites at think tanks pounding-out foreign policy gobbledygook, hardened politicians dealing a bevy of special interest lobbyists, a foreign country benefitting from the US foreign and/or military dollars, or part of the military industrial complex – the speech was a litany of contradictions and amateurism that will surely spell doom for America.
But, for voters tired of the same old policies that have contributed to $19 trillion in debt and endless wars churning-up Americans and American money in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and a slew of other countries ordinary Americans are unauthorized to know, the speech was refreshing.
One could say the establishment was “feeling the Bern” of the populist candidates Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald J. Trump. Oddly, the reality is that Sanders and Trump’s ideas are similar to the trade sentiment and war weariness of the voters – finally agreement.
The real differences between the candidates are how to pay for the domestic programs and benefits the government already provides. Unfortunately, the TV pundits and politicos are quick to tell the lowly “voter” they don’t understand the grown-up world where most favored nations and special interests receive favored status.
But something feels different this time. The Establishment has been feeding at the public trough since the 50s. President Eisenhower’s farewell speech warned of the military-industrial complex and perpetual war. But sneaky politicians added big banks, cyber-warfare, and big pharma to their growing special interest résumés.
America’s first President, George Washington, rightly warned of entangling foreign alliances that could draw America into wars that bear no nexus to national defense. Perhaps Trump is channeling the sage advice of both Washington and Eisenhower. His theme of developing a foreign policy and then building a military force to meet the modern day threats makes sense for the “amateur” voters.
“We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down, and under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs.” This doesn’t sound unhinged or bad for America, Trump actually sounds like he wants what’s best for this country without blindly kowtowing to lobbyists. (Read entire speech here)
Trump explained that the US started going off the rails once Ronald Reagan headed home to California. “Our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, which ended in one foreign policy disaster after another.”
Trump listed the past 15 years of Bush-Obama Middle East follies: civil wars, religious fanaticism, that has cost thousands of American lives, trillions of dollars, and created a vacuum that ISIS has easily filled.
Not one to mince words, former GOP Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich said, “George W. Bush declared that America’s goal would become to end tyranny in our world. An utterly utopian delusion, to which Trump retorts by recalling John Quincy Adams’ views on America: ‘She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.’ To the neocons’ worldwide crusade for democracy, Trump’s plan is that it was always a dangerous idea to think we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming Western democracies.’”
Trump also made clear: “We’re getting out of the nation-building business.”
Republican Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, surprisingly said Trump’s first speech faired well; “I think he really did a good job on the speech. And there are some details that need to be filled in. But it was a big step forward. I do like the fact that it does challenge the foreign policy establishment in Washington, which has really gotten it wrong for a long time.”
Thus far, so-called foreign policy “experts” have embroiled the US in wars dating back to the 60s such as Vietnam, which cost hundreds of thousands of lives and devastated millions of families in both countries. After it ended, the US saw virtually no difference in the region, some forty years later Vietnam is a major trading partner with the US reaping a sweeter trade deal with TPP!
Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech was about Anglo-American domination of the world with “the Bomb” not liberation of the world. Foolishly some American leaders tried to bailout the efforts of colonialism around the planet and rid the world of dictators.
After a brief respite, the US military-industrial complex got back to work in a major way. On the foreign policy menu was Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and back to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Northern and Central Africa.
The opening bid in Africa came from former Secretary of State and now presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, whose interests in Libya appear to be purely financial. Recently released emails have highlighted her correspondence with pals hoping to cash in on the oil-and resource-rich country.
Americans realize that no flag-waving patriotic speech is a guarantee to spread democracy and export US values. But Hillary’s high-fiving, cackling kudos for a good old-fashioned coup d’état, which overthrew and then killed Gadhafi, seemed a bit over-the-top. Especially since Gadhafi had even agreed to negotiate a peace deal to keep his country from chaos. But what Americans read in the Clinton’s emails was her buddies, led by Sydney Blumenthal wanted to enrich the Clinton Foundation and their globalist supporters by striking deals with Libya’s rebels, who have sent the once thriving economy into chaos.
“Great strength used cautiously is the heart of Sun Tzu’s Art of War which is 2,500 years old,” Gingrich writes. “But Trump’s core critique, that American interests, not ideological hopes, should define American foreign policy, would be very new to the foreign policy establishment that currently dominates Washington.”
Trump concludes, “many Americans must wonder why our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than their own… Americans must know that we are putting the American people first again. On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy – the jobs, incomes and security of the American worker will always be my first priority.”
Since a clash between East and West seems to be on a major collision course, perhaps Trump’s pivot to American priorities like consolidating our armed forces and preparing our military might to confront the new radical Islamic extremists’ threat that seeks to destroy US ideals, people, and the values they represent, is just what the voters ordered.