US Foreign Policy

Postscript 3, US Foreign Policy Post 2016 Elections

This Postscript offers little dramatic change to previous ones in content, merely an affirmation of the foreign policy of the two parties.

While a presidential nominee for the Democrats seems to be edging toward definition in the person of Hillary Clinton, the closer the Republicans move toward a decision for Trump, the greater that party’s disarray. But Foreign policy as an issue remains much the same for the two parties with little daylight between the two.

The Democrats

Clinton maintains her hawkish position while continuing to waffle and gloss over her past disastrous policies as Secretary of State with regard to Libya and Syria. With respect to those calamities, the State Department spin doctor, the NY Times, presented a ringing defence of Clinton and was promptly called to order yesterday in an excellent article from Patrick L. Smith, foreign affairs correspondent of Salon

Clinton continues to pillory Putin and Russia while lauding Obama who has, I am sure, reluctantly, climbed into bed with Russia and co-chaired its Syrian initiative. If the truce holds, she will probably claim credit and, if it fails, she will lay all the blame on Russia or Obama.

The Republicans

With every primary victory logged by Trump the more hysterical and panicky the Republican party leadership becomes. Yesterday, the NY Times trumpeted the headline, “G.O.P Foreign Policy Figures Denounce Donald Trump’s Worldview”. The article goes on to list and quote those figures, amongst whom are the luminaries and drivers of the George W Bush disastrous foreign policy: Cheney, Edelman, Chertoff, Eliot Cohen, Stephen Hadley. Has the NY Times no shame? Not one mention was made in the article of the catastrophe those people created and for which the US, its allies and the peoples of Middle East are paying.

It seems likely that if the Trump juggernaut cannot be halted, the GOP will try to derail him by any means, be it a brokered convention or, as some have threatened, a third party. Whether those efforts succeed or not, the Republican party has been mortally wounded and its passing will not be mourned.

Bi-Partisan Foreign Policy

With regard to foreign policy, unfortunately a President “Killary” will offer only a small degree of comfort over Rubio Cruz and Trump. Of the three, Rubio, if taken at his bellicose campaign statements, would be the more dangerous and more likely to lead the US into a catastrophic conflict with Russia. Trump’s threat about a wall on the Mexican border is just that, a threat that could never be implemented. No one really knows what Trump thinks and his loyal following doesn’t seem to care. What appeals is his tough talk and entertainment value. Showtime!

A New World Order, a New America

 As Andrew Bacevich wrote in The Nation, “Trumpism is not a program or an ideology. It is an attitude or pose that feeds off, and then reinforces, widespread anger and alienation.”. This anger is related to both domestic and foreign affairs. America is no longer “Number One” having been challenged globally and successfully by China and Russia and unable to control allies such as Turkey and SaudiArabia. That jingoistic chant, “US, Number One!”, heard at international sports events now rings hollow.








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