Hey, wait, isn’t “dark” a trigger word for the politically correct crowd? Every time President Donald Trump gets up and speaks what most people interpret as common sense, the left calls it “dark.”
What’s funny is that if Barack Obama gave essentially the same speech, minus the “Rocket Man” reference, they’d want to give him a second Nobel Peace Prize, or add one for Literature to it.
Even David Ignatius, writing in the Washington Post, called the speech “conventional,” and “a well-cooked pudding.”
So what worries me about Trump’s speech? Oddly, it’s precisely that it was so conventional. If Trump is going to deal successfully with North Korea, he’ll truly have to think outside the box. If he wants a better, longer-lasting deal with Iran, he needs in some way to engage that nation and its people.
But HuffPo chimed in with Hillary Clinton (please will she just shut up?) on how “dark” the speech was.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) September 19, 2017
Slate went apocalyptic.
It began—as all Trump speeches must begin, it seems—with a boast of how much better life in America has been since his election: stock market up, unemployment down, military stronger. This was a clue that the speech, though sometimes couched in the language of international principles (and dotted with thanks to the U.N. for helping out here and there), was really going to be about Trump—and Trump’s dark vision of what the world should look like.
When Trump said, “We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government,” they criticize him for not calling out corrupt despots or dealing with genocidal maniacs.
And in the next sentence, “But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation,” they say it smacks of nationalism. “Nationalism” is a trigger-word conjuring up Nazis and death camps.
Which sentence do they really have a problem with? Because “both” is an absurd answer.
Yet he said nothing about the similarly dreadful records of Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Turkey. In fact, he praised Saudi Arabia—where, he noted, he was “greatly honored” to speak earlier this year—for its agreement to stop “radical Islamic terrorism,” ignoring the Saudis’ longtime support for certain terrorist movements and the country’s cruel bombing of civilians in Yemen, with our own shameful abetting.
The left truly doesn’t get it.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey pose no threat to America or to western civilization. They may repress their own people, and in Turkey’s case, beat up their own nationals in our capital city, but that’s not a reason to march in and impose our morality on them.
Trump said “In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.” That sentence makes liberals go into “tilt” mode for a couple of reasons.
First, it presumes that America is worthy of being an example for anyone. The salient difference between Barack Obama’s worldview and Donald Trump’s (or Ronald Reagan’s for that matter) is that Obama thought America unworthy of emulation or as an example of what’s right. He thought quite the opposite, and therefore the primary motivator to be involved in foreign problems was the desire to make amends for our wrongs.
Second, it removes America from a global moral calculus of “universal human rights.” Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush spoke of these as a touchstone of our moral obligation to other countries. It’s what drove Bush’s “nation building” approach. If only we could get Iraqis, who have lived as a tribal society for a millennium, and only coalesced as a nation since western powers declared it so after World War I, to embrace a pluralistic democracy, they’d learn to love it.
But they never did.
Getting Russians to embrace a federal republic has about the same chance of happening. Their culture can’t embrace concepts that are so unnatural and alien to them.
Fred Kaplan at Slate had particular disdain for Trump’s threats to North Korea and Venezuela. Again, he doesn’t get it. States that cause problems for America and western civilization, through their own despotic or criminal enterprise, are targets for America to impose our will and might that they might fall in line.
It’s not some overarching global watermark for morality that drives Trump’s policy. As much as we’d like the comfort of that consistency, the world is a messy place. The measure of America’s involvement in another nation is their ability to mess us or our allies up. Period.
And Trump’s main purpose in this speech was to tout the doctrine of America First. “As president of the United States, I will always put America first,” he said, “just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always—and should always—put your countries first.” Unless, of course, your country is North Korea, Iran, Cuba, or Venezuela—in which case Trump insists that your country’s real interests lies in aligning those interests with our interests: with his interests.
Well, yes. North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela cause problems for America and our allies. Saudi Arabia doesn’t. These countries have some of the same fleas but only the dogs with fleas carrying the “anti-American interests” virus interest us. We know that many of the 9/11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia. But as long as the Saudis cooperate with us in rooting out al Queda and ISIS (and they do), we have no interest in ending their brutal and repressive practices. That’s their issue.
Liberals don’t like that. They either want to solve everyone’s problems for them or apologize that America doesn’t have some of the same problems as other countries and endeavor to give us those problems to make things more “equal.” That’s plain stupid.
The world isn’t going to get together in a “brighter or more orderly” brotherhood and love-fest. It’s messy, filled with self-interests, petty thugs, criminals, and haters. Trump was correct in applying common sense to deal with those who threaten us or our friends, and saying “live and let live” to everyone else.
If that’s too “dark” then liberals are living in rainbow unicorn land.
Trump goes nuclear on Iran deal
In a move that will doubtlessly give Muslim apologists around the world an apoplexy, President Trump withdrew the United States from the deal made with Iran under the Obama Administration which was theoretically supposed to prevent the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Instead, as the President made clear in his announcement, the Iranian regime has gained momentum toward developing nuclear weapons as well as the missile technology needed to deliver warheads around the world.
Calling the deal “defective at its core,” President Donald Trump gave his multitude of reasons to withdraw from the deal and to impose sanctions upon the radical Islamic regime. Trump also made a series of promises that made it clear that he would not tolerate Iran from advancing their nuclear weapons program. He also left the door open to renegotiating the deal in the future, and even seemed confident that Iran WOULD seek such a deal in the future.
Presidents are supposed to remain optimistic, and Trump did a good job in this respect by leaving that door to renegotiating open. However, it is quite possible that the President himself didn’t believe his own optimism. Iran has never negotiated in good faith with the world before, and they are unlikely to start now.
President Trump touted his ongoing success with the North Korean regime to prop up the idea that new sanctions will force Iran back to the bargaining table. On its face, this seems like it could be done. After all, Trump has accomplished on the Korean Peninsula more than six decades worth of Presidents combined.
That said, the circumstances are somewhat different in Iran than they are in North Korea. For one thing, Iran has large oil and natural gas reserves, which allows them to generate foreign currency at a level North Korea cannot come close to matching. Further, while North Korea is controlled by a brutal dictator, we have seen circumstances over the decades where Communist ideology has been overturned in favor of capitalism based simply on the fact that the latter works, and the former does not. Iran, however, is not just dictated by Marxism, but rather by radical Islamic fundamentalism, which has never been overcome except by force of arms.
Only time will tell how all this plays out.
In the meantime, there is, sadly, little the President can do to recoup the billions of dollars given to Iran by his predecessor. That money is gone, and has undoubtedly been used not only to further Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but to fund radical Islamic terrorism across the Middle East and around the world.
What the President CAN do is order a full investigation of the circumstances surrounding the giving of billions of taxpayer dollars to the murderous regime, and if evidence is found of wrongdoing, prosecute those US officials and former officials who had a hand in what is tantamount to treason. While the money will still be gone, having been used for evil, such prosecution could discourage future US Administrations from acting so willfully against the best interests of the American People and the world.
Former White House National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes would be an excellent person with whom to start the investigation, and Secretary John Kerry as well as former President Obama himself may need to be called to account. I, for one, am not holding my breath on the Obama Administration being held to account for any of its multiple crimes, but it WOULD be nice.
Trump went full Globalist First with Syria strikes
Too often we find ourselves in emotive cycles. For instance, mass shootings are used by the anti-gun crowd as a means to motivate a legislative attack on our Second Amendment. Likewise, chemical weapon incidences in Syria are similarly used to create an emotionally based reason to use military action. We are quick to assume that the Assad regime was responsible for the previous high profile uses of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War. This started under the Obama administration with his famous “Red Line” blunder in which he declared any use of chemical warfare unacceptable even if against the Al Qaeda affiliates or the JV team, ISIS. Trump, in contrast, followed through on Obama’s blunders, when the cycle repeated itself again.
A little over a year ago there was a chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in a province most openly ruled by the rebrandings of Al Qaeda. This incident led to Trump ordering airstrikes on Syria betraying his campaign promise of staying out of Syria. This attack was carried out under false and premature pretenses. This is an instance where the intelligence community says one thing but evidence says another. But before you defend the intelligence community’s infallibility, look back to how they insisted the DNC was hacked despite the lack of evidence, specifically from the server, that a hack took place. And so the Russian Farce Began. Theodore Postol, a professor at MIT and former DoD scientific adviser pointed out the staged nature of the evidence regarding sarin gas attack in 2017. He ultimately showed that the crater and canister that is credited with the chemical weapons rocket was detonated from the ground, not the air. Read more about his findings here. The point is: the emotive response automatically assumes that the Assad regime carried out the attack. There have been many chemical weapons uses in the war, but only about three or four have gotten media notoriety. I don’t deny that the Syrian Arab Army has used chemical weapons ever, but I seriously doubt the nonstrategic use of chemical weapons that occurred in these notorious incidences. Though as described below, this incident had a strategic outcome.
With the most recent incidence, guilt has already been pointed at Assad restarting the cycle. I don’t care to defend Assad in this instance. I do however want to call Trump and his supporters out on their own support of globalism. So let’s assume Assad carried out this attack. Let’s assume Assad gassed Al Qaeda territories a day after launching a new offensive and because he did, the terrorists surrendered. Why should we care?
The easiest reason to dismiss is that striking Assad is beneficial to America’s Middle Eastern strategy. This would imply that there has been a strategy in the Middle East. But even if we soften strategy to “interests” striking Assad is counter to America’s interest. Al Qaeda has lost in Syria and is clinging to certain besieged areas. In the particular area of this incident the group that was beseiged was called the “Army of Islam”. How does weakening the army that has done more to fight Al Qaeda and ISIS than the US in the last decade benefit Americans or their interests? If Hezbollah, a terror organization sponsored and allied with Assad, were alleged to have been responsible, this would be a different story. But instead, we target the one belligerent in the Syrian Civil War that can actually stabilize the region, even if slowly.
You could then claim about civilian deaths which have been a constant theme in this war on all sides. Most recently, this year Turkey has taken to slaughtering Kurds in its land grab of Northern Syria, but Donald Trump doesn’t seem to care about the death toll there. Nor have other brutalities in Syria been enough for Trump or Obama, to act. Assad, along with every belligerent, has killed civilians in this war. Why are these deaths special? News flash they aren’t. A person is a person is a person. A person dies whether being shot, stabbed or gassed. The people who died in the gas attack were no more important than the people who died in gunfire or strategic bombing. Every person has a moral worth that is irrelevant to their cause of death. So this isn’t about civilian deaths. This is about chemical weapons in and of themselves.
So now that we established Trump attacked Syria because of chemical weapons, now lets dive in to why he’s a globalist for it. Trump wanted to send a message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. But why is it unacceptable? What makes chemical weapons different than bullets and shells. Why is gas morally reprehensible and incendiary bombs permissible? There is no logical way to construct an argument that chemical weapons are impermissible while nuclear, radiological, and biological aren’t (though biological weapons are difficult if not impossible to control thus having little strategic use.) If we are to accept that weapons of mass destruction are morally wrong to ever use, then it would be inconsistent to not favor disarmament. Furthermore as Americans we would have to admit that the use of atomic bombs was a immoral decision if we do insist that the use of WMDs is morally impermissible.
I refuse to accept these premises and rewrite history in a globalist politically correct way. So why are chemical weapons such a big deal? The short answer is that the UN says they are a big deal. After World War 1, the League of Nations sought to outlaw chemical warfare and war in general. The ladder was ineffective. Though chemical weapons didn’t see as much light in World War 2, more extreme weapons did. Since its founding, the UN has sought to control what weapons a country can have. In addition to chemical weapons, there’s the anti-nuclear proliferation treaty. Article V of the NPT requires disarmament which nuclear nations have thus far refused. Some nuclear nations tolerate this treaty because they don’t want have-nots to get nukes. Others such as Israel, India, and Pakistan recognize that the UN wants to place limitations on their self defense capabilities. UN limitations on chemical weapons are similarly globalist schemes for the UN to encroach on a nation’s sovereignty. Chemical weapon use is wrong according to international law, not in and of themselves. As Ben Shapiro noted:
One of the arguments for intervention in Syria is that if we do nothing to reimpose the Obama red line in Syria, chemical weapons use will become more common. That’s probably true. But it’s also true that if someone attacked Americans with chemical weapons, we would end them. Furthermore, not all chemical weapons are the same: some are indeed weapons of mass destruction, but others are not as dangerous in scope as cluster bombs. Do the 500,000 dead in Syria’s civil war care whether they were killed by Russian cluster bombs or sarin gas?
So when Trump attacked Syria, he wasn’t responding to a threat nor can we really say it was about the people killed. He was upholding the UN’s power which Syria defied. This is where Trump goes full globalist. Never go full globalist. To repeat myself: he had the United State’s military attack another country because of a violation of international law! In the United States, international law has very little power here. This was established in Medellin v Texas. The globalist community cares not about American interests. Do we not remember when the UN condemned America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? It was allowed by Congress for decades. The UN would want nothing more than for America to relinquish its power.
All of Trump’s talk of nationalism is really a farce. He had our military act on a globalist cause, not “America First”. Trump may talk tough on tariffs, but globalism isn’t really about economics, its about sovereignty. Being “tough” on China doesn’t benefit America First. Instead these tariffs are now the biggest threat to our economic security coming out of the Great Recession. Bombing Syria doesn’t benefit America first. It benefits Turkey and their terrorists. It benefits the UN. Trump wasted military resources doing the UN’s bidding instead of making America or its allies safer. Trump upheld UN norms instead of his lawful duties as defined by Congress and the US Constitution.
In an America First foreign policy, we would have seen if the President had gone through America first. Congress. Instead Trump relied on a thumbs up which he got from the globalist community.
Trump ignores Constitution and his own words by bombing Syria
After Trump launched a series of airstrikes against Syria without the Constitutionally required authorization from Congress—just as he did a year ago after his “advisor” Ivanka told him to do so—he sent a self-congratulatory tweet to his adoring followers and declared, “Mission Accomplished.”
A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018
Despite the unwise reference to the phrase used by George W. Bush when he announced the end of combat operations in Iraq—we’re still there—Trump’s strike on Syria had little in common with Bush’s war because Congress authorized military action against Iraq. In reality, Trump’s actions have more in common with Obama’s war in Libya in that Obama didn’t have Congressional authority either.
Regardless of any perceived moral benefit from last week’s actions, Trump has once again ignored the Constitution in the name of political opportunism—a fact pointed out by a few voices in Congress (Notice the one-two punch by Amash when he nails Paul Ryan along with Trump).
I haven’t read France’s or Britain’s “Constitution,” but I’ve read ours and no where in it is Presidential authority to strike Syria.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 14, 2018
These offensive strikes against Syria are unconstitutional, illegal, and reckless. The next speaker of the House must reclaim congressional war powers as prescribed in Article I of the Constitution. @SpeakerRyan has completely abdicated one of his most important responsibilities.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 14, 2018
The Constitution makes offensive military action without congressional approval unconstitutional. The War Powers Resolution is unnecessary but consistent in that regard. Don’t fall for the lie that the WPR grants authority for “limited” offensive action without approval. Thread: https://t.co/UOfe7JxiI3
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 14, 2018
Though motivated more by Trump’s nationalist/populist ideals than they are his unconstitutional actions, his worshipers in the media are also speaking out about the airstrikes against Syria.
FOX News Trump Pravda hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham slammed the Syrian attacks as inconsistent with promises made during Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Michael Savage tweeted that warmongers had hijacked the country.
We lost. War machine bombs syria. No evidence Assad did it. Sad warmongers hijacking our nation
— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) April 14, 2018
And Trump sycophant Ann Coulter continued to regret her support of Trump by expressing her disagreement with his war against Syria in a series of retweets from conservatives and other voices like those below:
Nothing says "America First" like attacking without Congressional approval a far-away country that has historically not been regarded as a vital interest at the risk of severe escalation with Russia to punish a leader for maybe using chemical weapons in a jihadist-occupied town.
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) April 13, 2018
Repeat of last year: Democratic senators raise procedural concerns and worry vaguely about a lack of "strategy," but don't actually object on the merits pic.twitter.com/MgL0tYMM6U
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 14, 2018
Attacking a foreign nation that has not attacked or threatened America is globalist interventionism.
This is not 'America First'. This is not what Trump was elected for.https://t.co/fPdJlIQaYz
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 13, 2018
Proof of Trump’s double-mindedness regarding Syria was also documented by DailyCaller.com in an article listing numerous past tweets by Trump opposing military action in Syria when Obama was president. Here are just a few:
We should stay the hell out of Syria, the "rebels" are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2013
What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2013
What I am saying is stay out of Syria.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2013
Trump’s narcissism and Constitutional ignorance are not only a threat to liberty here at home, but they’re now a threat to Americans and others around a destabilized world—a world that grows more destabilized and dangerous with every tweet he sends.
Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.