Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Trump may seem Crazy but he has Sensible Foreign Policy Views

Despite Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s reality show candidacy, his recent foreign policy speech put forth a realistic view of the world and a largely credible foreign policy to deal with it. Continuing his poke at the political establishment, the maverick candidate proposed a viable alternative to the bi-partisan foreign policy consensus, which uses unneeded and profligate military interventions overseas as the primary U.S. foreign policy tool.

As opposed to the interventionist, neo-conservatism of the Bush administration and the equally meddling liberal hawkishness of Hillary Clinton, Trump got back to basics and let Americans citizens know that his foreign policy would safeguard American national interests first—not those of foreign countries, including providing for their security while they freeload.

He laudably said that military intervention would be used only as a last resort, after diplomacy and economic sanctions were used—and even the latter would be used sparingly.

Rather than using military power in a vain attempt to export democracy by force into foreign countries that are unreceptive to it, as the United States did in Iraq and Libya, Trump said that the United States should promote its values through leading by example. This policy is smarter because democracy better takes root when people in a country accept it willingly rather than having it shoved down their throats at gunpoint. In only four out of 18 attempts since 1900 has the forcible U.S. export of democracy succeeded.

Echoing the more traditional, less interventionist, and much more effective U.S. foreign policy that was the norm before the Cold War began, and which has been long forgotten, Trump said that the United States would “not go in search of enemies.” This restrained foreign policy served the United States well from its birth in the late 1700s to 1947—when it began to police the world—because the country has been gifted geographically to be far away from the world’s conflict zones.

To make his case for a more restrained U.S. foreign policy, Trump convincingly noted the twin foreign policy disasters of the Bush and Obama administrations in trying to export democracy using military power and nation building—in Iraq and Libya—that have instead caused chaos in the Middle East and allowed the terror group ISIS to fill the vacuum. He noted that he had opposed Bush’s Iraq War from the start, because the invasion would destabilize the Middle East and strengthen the Islamist regime in Iran, both of which occurred.

Although Trump has been excessively critical of China in trade and economic matters, he expressed a desire to work with that country if it worked with the United States. The United States should try to have better relations with a nuclear-armed nation that is rising in economic and military power and political influence. As for Russia, he saw a common interest in fighting Islamist terrorism and believes that the United States and Russia could ease their strained relations. In both cases, he wants to seek common ground, correctly saying that neither country needed to be a U.S. adversary. One needn’t fully trust these two nuclear-weapon states or agree with their domestic political systems to appreciate their need for a security buffer zone in their respective regions and the need to work with them on specific issues when it is in U.S. national interest to do so.

Finally, Trump realizes a central problem in U.S. foreign policy: U.S. resources have been overextended in policing the world and providing for the defense of wealthy allies that need to do more for their own security. He threatened that if these countries didn’t do more, the United States should let them defend themselves. Trump realizes that unless the United States threatens to do less, these allies will never increase spending on their own defense. Also, he recognizes something that much of the U.S. foreign policy elite gives short shrift—long-term U.S. security requires more emphasis on the health of the American economy.

Despite Trump’s usual campaign bluster, his foreign policy views are largely well argued and based on knowledge of and stark admission of numerous past instances of excessive and failed military meddling overseas.



Peggy Noonan on The Donald (excerpt)

In my continuing quest to define aspects of Mr. Trump’s rise, to my own satisfaction, I offer what was said this week in a talk with a small group of political activists, all of whom back him. One was about to begin approaching various powerful and influential Republicans who did not support him, and make the case. I told her I’d been thinking that maybe Mr. Trump’s appeal is simple: What Trump supporters believe, what they perceive as they watch him, is that he is on America’s side.

And that comes as a great relief to them, because they believe that for 16 years Presidents Bush and Obama were largely about ideologies. They seemed not so much on America’s side as on the side of abstract notions about justice and the needs of the world. Mr. Obama’s ideological notions are leftist, and indeed he is a hero of the international left. He is about international climate-change agreements, and leftist views of gender, race and income equality. Mr. Bush’s White House was driven by a different ideology — neoconservatism, democratizing, nation building, defeating evil in the world, privatizing Social Security. But it was all ideology.

Then Mr. Trump comes and in his statements radiate the idea that he’s not at all interested in ideology, only in making America great again — through border security and tough trade policy, etc. He’s saying he’s on America’s side, period.

And because people are so happy to hear this after 16 years, because it seems right to them, they give him a pass on his lack of experience in elective office and the daily realities of national politics. They accept him even though he is a casino developer and brander who became famous on reality TV.

They forgive it all. Not only because they’re tired of bad policy but because they’re tired of ideology.

You could see this aspect of Trumpism — I’m about America, end of story — in his much-discussed foreign-policy speech this week. I have found pretty much everything said about it to be true

He certainly jumbles up the categories. Bobby Knight, introducing him at a rally in Evansville, Ind., on Thursday, said that Mr. Trump is not a Republican or a Democrat. The crowd seemed to like that a lot.

Those conservative writers and thinkers who have for nine months warned the base that Mr. Trump is not a conservative should consider the idea that a large portion of the Republican base no longer sees itself as conservative, at least as that term has been defined the past 15 years by Washington writers and thinkers.



The Wall Street Journal Duped!

Am I the only one who noticed this thing? I was away on vacation and unable to post when this came to my attention. Please help me to embarrass the WSJ- Send this out and post it anywhere you can!

The cover of last Friday’s Wall Street Journal had this ridiculous example of Islamic Fauxtographic Journalism:

This is another classic example of Islamic “fauxtography”. The picture is so obviously staged that I feel embarrassed for the photo editor who selected it. To imagine that a toddler could be pulled out of the wreckage alive is fanciful enough but, okay, miracles do happen. But look again. How could the grimy “rescue worker” possibly have dug the baby out of the rubble. The kid doesn’t have a spot on his clean white tee shirt and socks. And don’t tell me that the dust on the rescue worker is light colored and wouldn’t show, I’ve raised six kids and I know that a white tee shirt shows everything! That kid’s mother must have known he would be starring in the latest promo shots for the Jihad and put him in a brand new outfit. Anyway, the child’s pants are dark blue and nothing shows there either. That’s without even asking, "how could he have escaped being trapped by all that falling masonry with nary a nick or cut on his big, round, pink head?

The truth is, there is a well documented and very sad history of this kind of “journalism” albeit most has been directed at vilifying Israel and the US. Pallywood and fauxtography have a long history. I’ve written about it before by PBS here .  Perhaps the most infamous example was the filming of the non-death of Mohammed al Durah that was exploited to touch off the emotional reaction that fed into the first intefada. It includes some of the most pathetic ruses ever swallowed by a media hungry for images and emotions. My favorite (I wrote about it here) was the Iraqi woman who was photographed during the battle for Sadr City holding up two bullets that she claimed an American soldier fired at her home. Unfortunately for her, and the media stooges who reprinted the picture, the bullets she brandished were live rounds, still shiny and unfired in there brass cartridges. So what did he do, lady, throw them at you?

The whole thing would be funny were it not so dangerous. Western media pipeline this stuff all the time - right from the cesspools of Jihadi propaganda to the living rooms of The West- no filter at all. Until stuff like this gets identified and ridiculed, it will keep on twisting the public debate and anesthetizing the survival instincts of our culture.

If you had no other clue to the falsity of the picture of the "rescue", all you had to do was look at its provenance. Agence France, by way of a Jihadi photographer- Just like much of the propaganda from the middle east (including the al Durah affair by Charles Enderlin), funneled through French media by Arab/Islamic photographerss on the ground... Oh, by the way, the bullet lady came by way of Agence France too.


You have to be clever to lie convincingly and Arabs are dim bulbs -- as the above shows


Florida Hotel Firm Gives Workers Amazing, Low-Cost Healthcare

Rosen Hotels & Resorts is best known for putting up tourists at its seven hotels in central Florida, but the hospitality company deserves to become even better known for its remarkable health plan: It covers almost everything for its 2,724 employees, yet it spends about 40 percent less per worker than the national average. According to Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman, the hotel’s achievement is due to the singular vision of its president and founder, Harris Rosen.

Although Rosen manages to provide comprehensive coverage and keep down costs at the same time, what’s especially remarkable are the health benefits the company’s policies have delivered: 93 to 95 percent of enrollees follow through on getting their prescriptions refilled, compared to only 25 to 30 percent nationwide; its employees’ cancellation rate for medical appointments is almost one-tenth the national average; and when Rosen’s workers require hospital stays, they require an average of two fewer days than non-employee patients using the same facilities. On top of all this, Rosen’s employees tend to be older and have poorer health than the general population.

What’s the “secret” to Rosen’s success? Three components seem especially important: Rosen health director Kenneth Aldridge closely monitors employees’ medical test results and quickly phones those at risk for diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, encouraging them to stay on top of their treatments. Rosen also makes sure that workers can easily get to a treatment facility, via its 12,000 square foot medical center. In addition, the company’s hiring policy precludes smokers and conducts random drug tests to ensure compliance. “What Rosen does is obviously doable – in a company with fewer than 3,000 employees, in a reasonably concentrated geographic area,” Goodman writes. “Can other employers do the same? I don’t know. But if they find time to get to Orlando, Harris Rosen will give them an earful of his thoughts.”



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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