History, Role Reversal, and Hypocrisy this week in Quebec, Singapore, and Washington DC: Our Country May be at a Cross Roads in our Foreign Policy.

Throughout the history of our country since World World War Two, our Presidents have uniformly engaged in building and solidifying multinational alliances, over time, with like-minded nations that promoted democratic capitalism institutions and social justice ideals. They have also been fairly uniformly firm towards major potential adversaries, holding to the motto of “peace through strength” and engaging, again over time, with these nations in mutual economic and military understandings. Despite grievances from the occasional fringe element on both the right and left, this is how Presidents have largely conducted foreign policy since 1941. This is in danger of being turned upside down by President Donald Trump as he chastises our allies, threatens our multinational alliances, embraces our adversaries, and runs summits like an episode of a reality television show.

Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower skillfully laid the foundations of the multinational alliance system we have today. Largely because of their and their advisor’s efforts, we have the United Nations, N.A.T.O., S.E.A.T.O. and after their administrations, the G7. The development of these organizations, despite the cries from isolationist naysayers, has taken years to form and solidify into one of the most reliable alliance systems in history.
When Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger made their first overtures to the People’s Republic of China in 1972, the genesis of the approach actually started in the Johnson Administration and the finalization of recognition and the taking of China’s Security Council seat at the United Nations in place of Taiwan did not occur until the Carter Presidency. These efforts, over four administrations (including Ford’s), met acclaim and resistance among various American Political and Social Circles.

When the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations forged Detente with the Soviet Union, it was met with ridicule by conservative circles (led in part by former California Governor Ronald Reagan who opposed the S.A.L.T. arms reduction treaties) who thought we were being played for suckers. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Carter and to a lesser extent Reagan took hardline attitudes towards the Soviets. The thawing and the resumption of Detente (with the S.T.A.R.T. Treaties) occurred when Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton dealt with more open and “democratic” Soviet Leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. Even with their hero Reagan in the White House, conservatives cried foul.

Every President since the formation of Israel has tried to forge a peace between that country and its Middle East Neighbors. Jimmy Carter helped achieve it with a separate peace between Israel and Egypt. Bill Clinton helped achieve it between Israel and Jordan. Peace with the Palestinians, for various reasons, has been off, then on, and then off again and despite hints through the decades, peace treaties with the other Middle East nations like Syria and Saudi Arabia has remained elusive. There have been naysayers in the United States and the region on these attempts as well.

Barack Obama, after years of negotiations, opened doors to Cuba and concluded a Nuclear agreement (with six other nations) with Iran and met condemnation by reactionary elements in this country with the current occupant of the White House calling it the “Worst Deal ever.”

The point of the above history lesson is that all these attempts at making the world a better and more peaceful globe for our people takes time, hard work, a steady hand or hands shepherding the process, and in most cases many years and many administrations. It should also be noted that all these attempts were met with resistance and chastisement by one or more groups who thought the peace efforts were foolhardy.

President Trump’s efforts in the last week with our G7 allies in Quebec and with Kim Jong Un in Singapore represent a potentially historic turning point in our countries foreign policy conduct for both the right and wrong reasons.

Is the President’s meeting with Kim Jong Un historic and an opportunity to end a conflict in a region that has not known an official peace since well before World War Two? Yes, it is and as Americans, we should let the process proceed and see how it unfolds despite its unpromising beginnings this week. The cause of peace should never be thrown away.

Is the President conducting himself in a fashion that resembles the posture of his predecessors? No, it is not. His abrasive behavior with our longest and most reliable and trusted democratic allies coupled with an embrace and respect for our authoritarian adversaries and their methods demonstrates a chilling and terrifying shift in how a President should conduct international relations. Readers need to consider the following questions.

Would any of the Presidents predecessors (Republican or Democrat) have arrived late to the G7 summit but arrive on time to meet Dictator and Mass Murderer Kim Jong Un?

Would any of the Presidents predecessors (Republican or Democrat) have openly commented that the leader of one of the most repressive, secretive, and unreliable countries on the planet is “talented, trustworthy, and loved by his people.” Please check out the YouTube video link below comparing Fox News commentator reactions to similar postures from both Presidents Obama and Trump to see what would have happened if anyone but Trump had done this.

Would any of the Presidents predecessors (Republican or Democrat) have threatened the Canadian Prime Minister with payback for a comment at a press conference following the G7 conference yet say it was an honor to meet the aforementioned Mass Murderer (including his uncle and half-brother) Kim Jong Un?

Would any of the Presidents predecessors (Republican or Democrat) have agreed to make the first concession in ending joint participation in military exercises with the South Koreans? Republicans would have frayed Barrack Obama alive if he had stopped funding Israel’s Iron Dome Defense as a concession to the Iranians?

Would a great majority of the supporters of the Presidents predecessors (Republican or Democrat) have given them the level of blind obedience and tacit approval Mr. Trump receives by not being, in masse, openly critical, of what he says about our allies and foes and how he conducts himself with them?

If you answered no to all of the above questions, you can see that we are at a critical juncture.

President Trump has turned American Foreign Policy upside down. He is good at tearing up multilateral agreements, insulting our allies, and playing nice with our adversaries but has yet to demonstrate his expertise at the “art of the deal”. While this overture with North Korea may yield positive results (remember we dealt with Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev in Russia and Mao, Chou En Lai and Deng Xiao Ping in China and they, individually, had more blood on their hands), this is not the deal of the century yet. It has not even remotely approached the level of the Iran Nuclear Deal Mr. Trump broke by leaving. To declare North Korea not a nuclear threat one day after the summit is extremely foolhardy. No President in the Nuclear Age would have made so premature an assessment.

In order to move forward, this country needs to retain positive relations with all our allies and not ridicule and mock them, especially in favor of other powers that are not deserving. It also needs two political parties willing to stand up to the President when he is wrong. The hypocrisy and blind loyalty of most members of the Party of Lincoln towards Mr. Trump can lead this country to isolation and ruin. Instead of being the nation others look to and want to emulate, we will become the new pariah to be shunned in favor of nations like China who are more than eager to take our place.

The People have it in their power to implore their leaders in both parties to move the country forward in a positive direction. They need to act on that through the democratic process and do it sooner rather than later

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-12/china-gets-everything-it-wanted-from-trump-s-meeting-with-kim?cmpid=socialflow-facebook-politics&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_content=politics&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-12/trump-s-north-korea-pact-is-different-and-not-in-a-good-way?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_content=politics&utm_medium=social&cmpid=socialflow-facebook-politics

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vanburen-northkorea-commentary/commentary-whatever-happens-next-the-trump-kim-summit-is-a-win-idUSKBN1J82A4?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

http://www.reuters.tv/v/LVp/2018/06/12/trump-s-n-korea-moment-isn-t-nixon-s-china-yet

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/a3aake/trumps-plan-for-north-korea-give-kim-what-he-wants-up-front?utm_source=vicenewsfb

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/06/trump-kim-jong-un-singapore-summit/562610/

http://prospect.org/article/lasting-damage-trumps-disastrous-diplomacy

http://prospect.org/article/constitutional-crisis-now

https://www.thenation.com/article/trump-spectacle-overshadowing-urgent-scandals-administration/

https://www.thenation.com/article/can-critic-trump-still-root-diplomacy-succeed-korea/

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/12/17448858/trump-kim-summit-praise-north-korea-republicans

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/12/17450974/trump-kim-jong-un-summit-winners

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/politics/trump-world-order/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/12/politics/peter-navarro-justin-trudeau/index.html

https://www.vox.com/world/2018/6/12/17448866/trump-south-korea-alliance-trudeau-g7

https://abcnews.go.com/US/exclusive-trust-trump-opens-kim-historic-summit/story?id=55815265&cid=social_twitter_abcn

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-again-scolds-trudeau-says-his-criticism-will-cost-canada-a-lot-of-money/2018/06/12/a99865fc-6e30-11e8-bd50-b80389a4e569_story.html?utm_term=.c3ece20e8d8c

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/06/12/the-good-and-the-bad-from-trumps-north-korea-summit/?utm_term=.7dfc8d3328dd

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/06/12/winners-and-losers-from-the-trump-kim-summit/?utm_term=.33411813d266

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/12/opinion/trump-jordan-peterson-charlatans.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/opinion/america-isolated-g7-canada.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/opinion/trump-quisling-enablers.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/opinion/g7-trump-north-korea-kim-jong-un-foreign-policy.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/12/opinion/trump-kim-summit-north-korea.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/12/world/asia/trump-summit-transcript.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

 

3 responses to “History, Role Reversal, and Hypocrisy this week in Quebec, Singapore, and Washington DC: Our Country May be at a Cross Roads in our Foreign Policy.

  1. David,
    I’m in British Columbia, Canada right now (a month plus escape from the heat) and unfortunately can’t seem to get away from Trump being one of the most reported items on TV. The Canadians seem to be both amused by Trump’s shenanigans and angry about the trade actions. The North Korea stuff is reported but not with any great reaction. There are quite a few who are resolved to not buy American. For the most part it’s a calm “We’ll get over this and return to normal after awhile” reaction. Let’s hope they are right.
    Bill

  2. Anne Marshall

    Except for the blind obedience you show the Democrat party line. You spelled Obama’s name wrong.