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Thursday
May302019

America's Mixed-up Foreign Policy

Right now the two major foreign threats to the United States are Russia, because of its interference in our elections, which continues to this day, and North Korea, whose recklessness with its nuclear weapons development program could lead to an incident that would plunge us into a war. Strangely enough, these are the two threats the Trump administration seems least concerned about. 

From what President Trump and members of his administration have said, the president believes that our number one threat is Iran, followed by Venezuela. President Trump is considering sending thousands of troops to the Middle East to counter the Iranian threat. No one outside of our administration, except zealous hawks such as Lindsay Graham thinks that Iran poses any kind of direct threat to the United States. The terrorist and revolutionary groups Iran supports, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthi militants in Yemen do threaten our allies in the region, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia. Israel can probably take care of itself and it has now got the support of some Suni Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia in its quarrels with Iran. The Houthis in Yemen have sent missiles into Saudi Arabia but that is in retaliation for Saudi airstrikes against them (which have killed countless civilians) in the fight within Yemen.

Venezuela poses no threat to the United States and what is going on in that country is civil unrest caused by a failing government that has mismanaged its country’s economy to the point of being on the edge of collapse. President Maduro is the elected president, although the election banned his major rivals from running, but Juan Guaido, whom the U.S. supports, simply declared himself to be president because of his position as President of the country’s National Assembly. President Trump has instituted sanctions which have further damaged the Venezuelan economy and has threatened military intervention if Maduro doesn’t step down. Senator Lindsay Graham has urged the president to use military force to oust Maduro, claiming that the presence of Cuban troops in the country, ostensibly to support Maduro against his own people, is another instance of Communism stretching its reach.

The president and his supporters claim that his opposition to Iran and to Venezuela is also based on those countries leaders’ heavy-handed denial of fundamental freedoms to their own people. This claim rings hollow when, at the same time, the president defends Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung Un, and King Saud and his son Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, all of which have been as much or more onerous in restricting their citizens’ freedoms than have Rouhani of Iran or Maduro of Venezuela. The president also has been particularly friendly to autocratic leaders such as Victor Orban of Hungary and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

The president’s foreign policy is a dangerous one, which threatens military action on our part when there is no direct threat to us. It is this kind of thinking that led us into the Iraq War and some of the same people who were responsible for that decision, such as John Bolton, are part of the Trump administration. The president’s policies appear to be based on whim, on a genuine admiration for autocrats, and on hawkish counsel form his advisors and supporters. At the same time that he is directing his attention to false threats internationally, he is weakening our allliances with other NATO nations and ignoring the global threat of climate change. Following this foreign policy may lead to disaster.

Reader Comments (4)

Oil... who controls the oil controls the world. The battle for Venezuela is being won by the Russians
Iranians Fanatics religiously and everybody is their enemy including their fellow Muslims they terrorized the Mideast and have nuclear power given by and enforced by Hillary and Obama to sell them uranium I don't understand the thinking of this author who believes they're not a direct threat when they tell us they are

May 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKent Rogers

Last Sunday, Lindsey Graham closed his pitch for invading Venezuela by invoking Reagan's invasion of Grenada. The Grenada invasion came two days after the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut. Reagan looked weak; he needed to change the narrative. Trump also needs to change the narrative. Watch Iran. Watch Venezuela. Once again, old white dudes ready to send young men and women to fight and die. Why? To change the narrative.

May 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterC.W. Spooner

When confronted by ideas that don't seem logical - i question my assumptions.

To my wat of thinking...We don't need a threat to go to war, probably our most profitable wars are fought against those that aren't a threat at all.

Iraq, Afghanistan, all the mid-east wars have been very profitable - ignoring the death and destruction of nations and cultures.- you may have noticed that those countries were not threats at all. They did own a lot of oil and opium, two very addictive substances for ruling elites.

May 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDariel Garner

China is the only actual threat to the US. Every other country is simply a nuisance or an opportunity.

June 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMark Wheller

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