Neither Neocon nor Isolationist

  
Via:  Vic Eldred  •  9 months ago  •  20 comments

By:    RICH LOWRY

Neither Neocon nor Isolationist
Trump’s Jacksonian impulses combine a willingness to whack our enemies with a distaste for ambitious foreign interventions.

Leave a comment to auto-join group We the People

We the People

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



D onald Trump isn’t George W. Bush.

That should be obvious to everyone by now, but his critics and even some of his supporters immediately acted as if it were 2003 on the cusp of the Iraq War when Trump took out Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.

Suddenly, the neocons had cachet again ( Vox  warned that “the Iraq War hawks are back”), and we were about to launch yet another endless war. Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani,  New York Times  columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote, repeating a common refrain, “has brought the United States to the brink of a devastating new conflict in the Middle East.”
There’s no doubt that the operation against Soleimani carried risks, but it didn’t transform Trump into a conventional interventionist. In fact, taking out Soleimani was wholly consistent with the president’s approach to the world that can’t be plotted on a simple hawk/dove or neocon/isolationist axis. As a Jacksonian, Trump is none of the above, combining a willingness to whack our enemies with a distaste for ambitious foreign interventions.

The Jacksonian label is the famous construction of foreign-policy analyst Walter Russell Mead, who traces the tradition back to Andrew Jackson and the cultural influence of the American backwoods. Jacksonians are content to let the world sort itself out, except if they perceive a threat, in which case they react with great ferocity.

Trump’s victory overturned the reigning Republican foreign-policy consensus, but it didn’t herald a lurch to isolationism pure and simple.


Even when Trump sounded most hostile to U.S. commitments and alliances abroad in 2016, he promised, in one of his most Jacksonian sentiments, to “bomb the s—” out of ISIS. No matter how much Trump disdained being in the Middle East, it wouldn’t be possible to follow through on this threat without military assets, an intelligence network, and allies on the ground. Once elected, Trump did, sure enough, bomb the s— out of ISIS.


Killing Soleimani is in keeping with this general orientation rather than a departure from it. In fact, the whole thing is shot through with Jacksonian attitudes.

Trump’s red line to Iran didn’t have to do with our values or shipping lanes. It reflected the most basic imperative of a nation protecting its own: Don’t harm Americans.

When a rocket attack by an Iranian-supported militia killed an American contractor and injured other Americans at a base in Iraq, Trump’s response was also characteristically Jacksonian: a stunning, bolt-out-of-the-blue droning of an enemy commander who was thought to be safely out of bounds, designed to create the maximum deterrent bang for the buck.

All of this is why the complaint from Trump’s populist backers that the president has been co-opted by deep-state warmongers, putting at risk his political base, is misplaced. Trump never promised anyone he’d refuse to respond to threats to Americans, or honor the unspoken rules protecting a bloodstained high official of a hostile foreign regime. In fact, if Trump had said any of these things, it would have been out of character.


Bellicosity of a certain kind — taunting and over the top, boasting of our awesome military capabilities and motivated by considerations of personal and national honor — is key to the Trump brand.


The killing of Soleimani is likelier to add to the legend of Donald Trump for his most loyal backers instead of give them pause. In their view, here is President Trump once again doing what no other president would do, taking an inordinate amount of criticism for it, often from a perpetually hysterical press corps, and having it work out (so far).

The Jacksonian impulse alone is not enough to solve the complex foreign-policy problem presented by Iran. But it can be useful in a contest of intimidation and escalation. The killing of Soleimani isn’t a deep-state or neocon project, rather an unmistakable expression of Trump’s distinctive worldview.



rich-lowry_200.jpg

RICH LOWRY  is the editor of  National Review


Article is LOCKED by author/seeder
 

Tags

jrGroupDiscuss - desc
smarty_function_ntUser_is_admin: user_id parameter required
[]
 
Vic Eldred
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    9 months ago

Embassies are sovereign properties of the visiting country. 

Some have forgotten.

The President has taken the reasonable position of the carrot & the stick. Iran has but one option - get back to the negotiating table.


Rules of civility apply

 
 
 
KDMichigan
1.1  KDMichigan  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    9 months ago
Some have forgotten.

I don't think that has anything to do with it.  A terrorist attack could happen on US soil and if the Trump administration retaliated the left would cry about it. Mind you these are the same obama apologist that cheered when he attacked other countries. So what is their problem? TDS?  or just hypocrites? 

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1.1  bugsy  replied to  KDMichigan @1.1    9 months ago
So what is their problem? TDS?  or just hypocrites? 

Yes

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2  seeder  Vic Eldred    9 months ago

JUST IN: Trump administration announces new sanctions on Iran

http:// hill.cm/lTmWadz

EN7rf5QXkAE-Lzn?format=jpg&name=small

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3  Nerm_L    9 months ago

The episode illustrates that it is easy to stir up public sentiment and then run a few polls.  But that is marketing; not governing.  Sturm and drang isn't a rational approach for policy making.

The war with Iran that wasn't has already fallen off the news cycle.  Political opportunists engaged in frenzied outpouring of hair-on-fire speculation to stir up public sentiment.  But the episode was over before any polling could be done.  All the public got was a lousy T-shirt; I survived a war that didn't happen.

Now should be the time for introspection.  Why is the United States involved in the Middle East?  What does the United States hope to accomplish?  Has the United States policy in the Middle East been effective; is it working?

Instead journalists, policy wonks, experts, think tanks, and political opportunists cower in their cubicles to hide their shame.  They haven't been proven wrong; the opportunity just passed by too quickly.  They know in their hearts they were right all along.  It's only necessary to await the next opportunity to stir up public sentiment.  Patience is a virtue, isn't it?

 
 
 
Split Personality
3.1  Split Personality  replied to  Nerm_L @3    9 months ago
The war with Iran that wasn't has already fallen off the news cycle. 

To be fair, I think the downed Ukrainian 737 actually put a cork in the bottle.

In Iran it's a national embarrassment of military incompetence. They did exactly what the US Navy did to them accidently,

only in their own back yard killing their own people.

Although Iran is still denying the obvious, they are now inviting the Ukrainians, Boeing and others to aid in the investigation.

They have had time to pick up the obvious pieces of the SA-15s that were already photographed,

and there is no way Boeing is ever going to agree that mechanical failure caused 2 mid flight explosions.

This will be an interesting autopsy.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Split Personality @3.1    9 months ago
To be fair, I think the downed Ukrainian 737 actually put a cork in the bottle. In Iran it's a national embarrassment of military incompetence. They did exactly what the US Navy did to them accidently,

A consequence of the war that never was.  The downing of the Ukrainian flight was a failure of leadership by the Iranian government.  And there isn't any way to blame the United States.  The anti-aircraft battery was doing its job; there wasn't leadership to ensure that job was done effectively.  How was the ground crew supposed to determine if their system warnings were a threat or not?  The Iranian government should have closed the airport until the intentions of the United States were known.  The Iranian government shot off a few scuds and declared victory while ignoring everything else.

The episode illustrates why Iran cannot be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.  It's not the weapons that are a threat; it's the lack of safeguards and the Iranian government's pursuit of political expediency that is the problem.

 
 
 
KDMichigan
3.1.2  KDMichigan  replied to  Split Personality @3.1    9 months ago
In Iran it's a national embarrassment of military incompetence.

That's funny, seems you were just speculating that the Iran military was so awesome that they were missing the base in Iraq on purpose. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3.1.3  Nerm_L  replied to  KDMichigan @3.1.2    9 months ago
That's funny, seems you were just speculating that the Iran military was so awesome that they were missing the base in Iraq on purpose. 

You've mistaken me for someone else.

 
 
 
KDMichigan
3.1.4  KDMichigan  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.3    9 months ago

It was addressed to the proper person. look again.

 
 
 
Split Personality
3.1.5  Split Personality  replied to  KDMichigan @3.1.2    9 months ago

And as the fog of war parts they had 5 complete duds which we have "captured" .

They hit a runway, a carport and some perimeter fences.

The other four missiles detonated in remote areas killing dirt.

So it it more likely now that they are either just completely incompetent

or playing a really long chess game.

The fact that 3 or 4 hit "our" bases were hit and they shot 82 of their countrymen out of the air

makes it appear to be incompetence.

Speculation is less risky than assuming

don't you agree jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif ?

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.1.6  1stwarrior  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.5    9 months ago

Just remember 1993 and 2003 - they couldn't hit shyte then either.

 
 
 
KDMichigan
3.1.7  KDMichigan  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.5    9 months ago
Speculation is less risky than assuming

speculate
[ˈspekyəˌlāt]

VERB
speculating (present participle)
form a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence.

Yup you were the one championing the Iran military capabilities, do you deny that? 

So it it more likely now that they are either just completely incompetent
or playing a really long chess game.

What? So you changed your stance that they were using precise strikes so not to cause injury? That they targeted them bases because they were way out in "nowhere"? Interesting.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3.1.8  Nerm_L  replied to  KDMichigan @3.1.4    9 months ago
It was addressed to the proper person. look again.

Yep, my goof.  Sorry.

 
 
 
katrix
3.2  katrix  replied to  Nerm_L @3    9 months ago
Has the United States policy in the Middle East been effective; is it working?

No, never. Not under any administration.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  katrix @3.2    9 months ago
No, never. Not under any administration.

Shouldn't that be the topic of discussion?  Blaming Trump is only a political diversion to avoid addressing the hard questions.  The public shouldn't allow that to happen.

 
 
 
KDMichigan
3.3  KDMichigan  replied to  Nerm_L @3    9 months ago
The war with Iran that wasn't has already fallen off the news cycle.

Well it did expose those who would rather sympathize with a terrorist than support their own country. And we did get to hear the But Trumpers cry that he is starting WWIII again.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3.3.1  Nerm_L  replied to  KDMichigan @3.3    9 months ago
Well it did expose those who would rather sympathize with a terrorist than support their own country. And we did get to hear the But Trumpers cry that he is starting WWIII again.

Well, I don't think anyone really sympathized with terrorists.  The problem is the idea that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" has become conventional wisdom for the left.  (And the right isn't impervious, either.)

The left pursued a political agenda that had nothing to do with national security, terrorist threats, or Middle Eastern policy.  What the left did was display a failure of leadership no less noteworthy than the failure of leadership by the Iranian government.  The left are not terrorists but the left does display the same political short sighted pursuit of political expediency as do terrorists.

 
 
 
Sunshine
3.3.2  Sunshine  replied to  Nerm_L @3.3.1    9 months ago
The left are not terrorists but the left does display the same political short sighted pursuit of political expediency as do terrorists.

After this last display of Democrats sympathizing with Iran, I am seriously concerned about the stability of the Democrat party.  I am afraid at this point they would put American citizens in jeopardy to beat Trump this election year.  It certainly is scary to think what decisions they would make to stay in power.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.3.3  1stwarrior  replied to  Sunshine @3.3.2    9 months ago

If it would get him out of the White House - it just doesn't matter what it takes.

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online

JohnRussell
Old Hermit
dennis smith
Sean Treacy


48 visitors