On tour abroad, Trump does what Obama should have done

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 25 May 2017, 05:35 hrs, UTC, Post #211.

Source:  http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/23/opinions/on-tour-abroad-trump-does-what-obama-should-have-stanley

Accessed on 25 May 2017, 05:35 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Timothy Stanley (CNN).

Please click link to read the full opinion piece.


Despite his numerous foreign policy stumbles, President Donald Trump may have done something right during his tour of the Middle East and Europe.  According to CNN correspondent Timothy Stanley, President Trump has done what former President Obama failed to do:  “brought a new sense of strategic vision–a corrective to the regional crisis that hardened under Obama.”  Stanley adds that Mr. Trump picked sides, “even when choices were not ideal.”

The apparent catalyst for this choice was the terrorist attack against a concert in Manchester, England. which was carried out by a 23-year-old radicalized Muslim.  Trump called the bombing an act of terror carried out by a murderer and a “loser.”  That comment resonated well with many UK residents who have endured several bombings over the past few months.

Here’s the analysis by Mr. Stanley of CNN:

“And this tragic event validates Trump’s initiative of uniting the world against terrorism. Suddenly, he feels like a serious international leader.”

“There has to be a change in tone. Barack Obama began his presidency with an erudite speech in Cairo declaring that America would be humbler from now on. Trump, by contrast, landed in Saudi Arabia looking like an emperor meeting a king. Trump’s provincialism is an act. He might not understand the etiquette of Capitol Hill, but international business is in his bones.”
Timothy Stanley

“He brings with him, abroad, a new sense of strategic vision. Obama’s critics should give him a break for having to govern in a time of anarchy and limited choices. But he compounded regional crises by laying down red lines, for instance on the use of chemical weapons, that he then allowed dictators to cross. He hung back from action in Syria, yet aided the revolt against Gadhafi in Libya.
And his centerpiece deal with Iran came at a heavy price: the slow expansion of Tehran’s influence throughout the region. No wonder Gulf states desire greater US involvement, and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, praised the US Tomahawk strike on a Syrian airstrip.
This is what Trump is doing that Obama was reluctant to do: He’s picking sides. The choices are not ideal. Who would want to ally with Saudi Arabia, a fossilized monarchy that won’t even let women drive, which has long been accused of itself exporting extremism? On the other hand, when Saudi Arabia is in a proxy war with Iran in Yemen, it is at least coherent and rational to sell arms to the Saudis.”
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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.
Until next time,
Russell Roberts
Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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