Trump's National Security Policy
Forget the new Star Wars movie. If you were on social media yesterday while Trump unveiled his new National Security Strategy, all you’d need was a bowl of popcorn and you’d be set. The best commentary went down on Twitter with two sides clearly drawn. The dark side of the force: the nationalists, Trump supporters, and America First crowd. And the Light side: the globalists, Obama fanboys, and practically everyone in the media.
Obama called his National Security Strategy in 2015 a “rules-based international order.” Trump calls his “America First.” Globalists praised Obama for his rhetoric back then, and they’re eviscerating Trump’s today. I’m about to say something that might sound a little radical: politicians say politician type things… National Security Strategy rarely changes. Let’s stick with the Star Wars references for a second. The force isn’t inherently bad, but people DO occasionally do some pretty messed up stuff with it. Likewise, National Security hasn’t really changed much in the past 50 years, but occasionally a President does do something stupid.
Here’s a tip for the media pundits freaking out over the words “America” and “First.” 9 times out of 10, political rhetoric from a President regarding National Security doesn’t mean squat. Obama stated that he wanted to disengage US meddling in the world, and concentrate on a “rules-based international order.” That political speak mumbo jumbo didn’t stop him from continuing deployments to Afghanistan, helping to cause Libyan regime change, AND arming opposition forces to cause regime change in Syria. He wanted to “reset” relations with Russia, but he also supported the coup in Ukraine. Now, can you describe ANY of the above as “rules-based international order?” To the contrary, he looks more like he was breaking the rules and causing international DISORDER.
Let’s look at Trump. He’s spoken out against NATO, expressed an interest to be friends with Russia (kinda like Obama did), and threatened a trade war with half the planet. His tenure has been brief so far, but what have his actions really shown? Do they match the political speak? We’ve actually increased cooperation with NATO, relations with Russia are at an all time low, and NO trade wars have kicked off. In terms of Russia, the Ruskies were mentioned 25 times in this report. That makes them second to only China who was mentioned 33 times. Russia was called a threat throughout the entire brief. It also called for cooperation with Europe and a balance of power in the Middle East. Sounds kinda like “rules-based international order” doesn’t it?
After comparing actual action of both Obama and Trump, one seems a little less like the dark side, and the other doesn’t seem like he followed the Jedi code quite like everyone says he did. National Security is kinda like the force… it just is. US interests rarely change, just like every other country on the planet. It’s guided by rules and geopolitics, regardless of what the current President says to appeal to his base. Some leaders temporarily throw the force out of balance (Iraq, Libya, Ukraine), but US National Security Policy was the same yesterday, it’s the same today, and it won’t change much in the future.
US Vetoes the UN
The United States is the only country in the world willing to stand up for Israel.
Almost two weeks ago, President Trump announced that the U.S. would finally follow its own 22-year-old law by relocating the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s actual capital city of Jerusalem. The announcement brought round-the-clock anger from Middle Eastern Muslim countries and rock-throwing by Palestinians.
Shamefully, none of America’s allies had the backbone to stand with the U.S.
The next move by the angry Arab world was a UN resolution, initiated by Egypt, which did not technically name the U.S. or Trump, but expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.” The resolution called these “decisions” null and void and received approval from the rest of the 15-member Security Council. It also called on all nations not to move their embassies to Jerusalem.
For all the world’s talk about diversity, inclusion, and rooting out all kinds of isms, there is one form of discrimination that still gets unanimous UN approval – anti-Semitism. That is ironic for a “peaceful” international organization that was born out of the ashes of World War II.
So far, the Trump administration is standing firm. Yesterday, for the first time since 2011, the U.S. used its veto power to veto the Security Council resolution. The U.S. has veto power as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the U.S. used the veto to defend American sovereignty and its commitment to the Middle East peace process. She called the resolution “an insult,” adding that the rest of the Security Council should be embarrassed for supporting it.
Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to travel to the Middle East today, but the trip has been delayed until January, in part because of the Arab world’s temper tantrum. In a shocking development that no one saw coming, Palestinian officials canceled their plans to meet with Pence. Is it just me, or do moves like that from the Palestinians fail to indicate much interest in an actual peace process?
President Trump has not had a great year domestically, but he deserves credit for sticking by Israel when the rest of the world seems to be against them.
Amtrak's Deadly Derailment
Emma was curled up against the window. As the world rushed past her, she let the train rock her to sleep.
But her slumber did not last long.
She was violently shaken awake. Looking out the window, Emma realized that her coach was dangling at a steep angle toward the highway below.
“It felt like the end of the world,” she remembers thinking.
Emma was a passenger on Amtrak Train N0. 501 yesterday. It was the inaugural run of a new service between Seattle and Portland.
The train was going 80 miles per hour on a 30 mile per hour route when the 132-ton locomotive derailed and careened into traffic on Interstate 5, the Northwest’s busiest travel corridor.
The wreck killed at least three people and injured more than 100.
Emma was one of the lucky ones.
President Trump was quick to politicize the accident, tweeting that “The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!”
I guess he didn’t get the memo that the tracks where the accident occurred were brand new and the result a recent infrastructure investment program.
Today, we are praying for the people affected by the train wreck. It is a devastating thing to lose a loved one this time of year.
This serves as a reminder that tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Every day is a gift to be shared with the people we love.