With our Pentagon-funded Syrian rebels fighting our CIA-backed Syrian rebels, the absurdity of our foreign policy of regime change is so obvious that only a Washington policy wonk could fail to see it. Both parties have supported this insane policy, having learned nothing from the destruction of Iraq and the fall of the Iraqi Ba’athist regime.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result, then our Syria policy surely fits the bill. And yet from Hillary Clinton – the architect of our pro-rebel policy – to Lindsey Graham, the Washington consensus is that “Assad must go.”
Trump is challenging this nonsense – and performing a great service in doing so.
Here is someone who is defying the bipartisan consensus on Israeli-American relations, which is that we must always give unstinting and unconditional support to the Jewish state. Here is an outright abrogation of the conditions of the so-called “special relationship,” that one-sided love affair that dictates Washington must kowtow to Tel Aviv and ignore the horrific conditions under which Palestinians have been condemned live.
The two other main contenders attacked Trump for it. Of course they didn’t have any substantial or terribly convincing criticism – there can’t be any. How can one argue against evenhandedness? Cruz merely repeated his pledge to give Israel everything it wants and simply repeated the Israeli embassy’s talking points: Hamas, Hezbollah, terrorism, and of course “moral equivalence,” in short the usual nonsense – as if the Palestinians and their allies have no right to resist the occupation.
Note: His AIPAC speech was atrocious and made no mention of "even-handedness." It could have been made by Hillary or Cruz. Even Trump kowtowed to their power then.
Trump is all over the place: he wants to lower the tax rate, but penalize the financial speculators: he opposes Obamacare, and wants to allow competition between insurance companies over state lines, but he also wants to take care of the indigent. He is protectionist on trade, tough on crime, and even tougher on immigration – all stances one would normally associate with the paleo-conservatives. And he's dead wrong on Edward Snowden.
The immigration test for Muslims is almost unenforceable. The closest to it would be what Israel does:
He opposes a new cold war with Russia, doesn’t want us in Syria, highlights his opposition to the Iraq war, and has recently declared that he opposes hiking the military budget. He wonders aloud why we are pledged to defend both South Korea and Japan while they “screw us over’ on trade.
Trump is also right that NATO is obsolete ... and dangerous.
Now, it doesn't even matter if he can get the GOP nomination. Or beat the lefty Neocon Hillary. The point is that he has changed the foreign policy discourse in the Republican party, wresting it from their heretofore iron grip and successfully selling a demonstrably less interventionist policy to GOP primary voters.
You’ll recall that the pundits routinely discounted Rand Paul’s presidential campaign on account of his anti-interventionist views – which are quite mild compared to Trump's. Given Trump's popularity, however, from this day forward they won't be able to get away with that again. The terms of the debate have been irrevocably changed – and that is Trump's great achievement, for which he must be given full credit.