Did Hillary’s Foreign Policy Trump “America First”?
Last year’s presidential campaign featured stark differences on foreign policy. Hillary Clinton was called a “NeoCon,” because she was seen as the candidate who would be involved in foreign military adventures. But Donald Trump was so against “foreign entanglements” that he even trashed the last president of his own party, George Bush, for trying to be the “world’s policeman,” and for “regime change.” In fact, Trump was often called an “isolationist.”
But that has changed. In fact, in a story entitled “Donald Rodham Clinton,” Politico suggests that Trump is now the same as Hillary in foreign matters.
Previously, Trump said NATO was obsolete. Now, he salutes it, Clinton-style, as a “great alliance.” Previously, he lavished kisses on Vladimir Putin and Russia. Now Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have taken a Clintonesque stand against Russia, admitting to low levels of trust between the two nations. Then: No war in Syria. Now, Trump is bombing Syria with the sort of glee Clinton would have brought to the mission. And on and on it goes, with Trump adopting Clintonian stances on Chinese currency manipulation (doesn’t exist!) and the Export-Import Bank (for it).
Hillary Clinton’s presidency would have been a family affair, with Bill and Chelsea mobbing the White House with their advice; Trump has seated daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner at on his roundtable and acts on their guidance. Hillary Clinton would have recruited pros from Goldman Sachs; Trump has brushed the rafters of his administration a beaming gold with guys from Goldman. Hillary Clinton would have gone to war with the Republican Congress, vowing to campaign against them once they refused to pass her legislation; Trump has come close to realizing that goal, telling the leader of the troublesome House Freedom Caucus, “Mark, I’m coming after you.”
. . .the Trump administration continues to blur into something resembling a triangulating Clinton presidency, especially as Bannon’s influence on the president fades from full moon to gibbous. Trump’s Clintonification has not gone unnoticed by his base. Any day now, I expect the president to trademark his 2020 campaign reelection slogan: “Stronger Together.”
The Daily Caller also wrote that Trump has been Clintonesque.
Hillary Clinton achieved a victory this week, when President Donald Trump launched airstrikes against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. No vital interests of the United States or its allies were invoked or involved. A single rationalization sufficed: He did it for the children.
Trump vividly validated the observation of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that, “Military missions and foreign interventions are [now] defined as a form of social work.”. . .
No one denies that protecting children is worthy. Yet when it becomes the sole justification for armies of government functionaries – let alone mobilizing real armies – we may not be getting the full story. . .
How far one nation should invade other people’s countries to protect them from their own governments has become a hotly debated topic. The track record is not good. The fashionable doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect” was invoked to justify Clinton’s bombing of Kosovo and again in the decision to attack Iraq in 2003, though this rationalization was probably gratuitously tagged on. In both cases, it is not clear that we saved any lives, though we took many, and we destabilized these regions in ways we could not predict or control, with consequences to this day.
Even Ann Coulter criticized Trump, in Breitbart.
War is like crack for presidents. It confers instant gravitas, catapulting them to respectability, bypassing all station stops. They get to make macho pronouncements on a topic where every utterance is seen as august.
On the other hand, Trump’s Syrian misadventure is immoral, violates every promise he ran on, and could sink his presidency. . .
Back in 2013, when President Obama was being egged on to attack Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack far more sweeping than this latest one, Trump tweeted:
— Aug. 29, 2013:
“What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.”
— Aug. 31, 2013:
“Be prepared, there is a small chance that our horrendous leadership could unknowingly lead us into World War III.”
— Sept. 1, 2013:
“If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay. Stay away and fix broken U.S.”. . .
My nightmare scenario: Trump and Jared watching TV together and high-fiving: DID YOU SEE THE NEWS! THEY LOVE YOU! All Trump had to do was pointlessly bomb another country, and it was as if a genie had granted his every wish. . .
We want the “president of America” back — not “the president of the world.”
Trump is just getting started, but so far, his activist foreign policy seems more like business-as-usual in Washington, rather than working to “fix broken U.S.”
Filed in: Foreign Policy Tagged in: foreign policy Hillary Clinton interventionist military necon trump