Getting in a quick one before heading to the airport in a few minutes!
On Monday, The Donald gave a major speech outlining his foreign policy ideas. He was (of course) criticized for offering few specifics, but to be fair candidates generally don’t offer many specifics at this stage of the game. It is after they win the election and begin putting a team together that specifics come along; Her Imperial Majesty is on the same page here, but, since she is the Dowager Empress, the legacy media isn’t calling her on it much.
Anyway. My favorite bunch of libertarians over at Reason reviewed The Donald’s plan here. Excerpt:
Today’s foreign policy and immigration speech by Donald Trump explains, in a nutshell, how utterly impossible it is to try to tease out a coherent idea of how a Trump presidency will behave. To wit:
- Trump and vice president candidate Mike Pence were introduced by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a massive supporter and cheerleader of the Iraq War. Then during his speech, Trump spent a significant amount of time saying that did not support the Iraq War and was vocal about it as a citizen (evidence suggests that this is not actually true).
- Having opposed the war, he nevertheless felt President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton were wrong to have failed to establish a new agreement to keep more troops in Iraq (an agreement Obama inherited as president), and said that pulling troops out is what caused the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS). (evidence shows that Trump also had called for pulling out of Iraq previously while George W. Bush was still president)
There’s a lot more at the link.
One of the ways in which I differ from a lot of libertarians involves the use of military force. Libertarians tend to ascribe to the least possible use of force, which I don’t necessarily agree with, and also to not use force except in response to an attack or aggression, which I generally do agree with.
But the Iraq situation, that’s a little different.
With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it’s easy to look back thirteen years and say, “you know, Saddam was an asshole, but he was a predictable asshole, and he was probably the only guy who was a big enough asshole to keep any kind of order in that shithole.” That’s probably true, and in recent years I’ve come around to the idea that it was probably a strategic mistake to take him out.
But take him out we did, and then the old “you broke it, you bought it” principle applied. So, with Iraq broke, what should we do?
Here’s the onion; Iraq isn’t the problem now. ISIS is the problem. Trump wants to squash them like insects. Given their ongoing metastasis into Europe, that’s beginning to sound like a good idea to at least a plurality of Republicans and independents, especially since what we’re hearing from Her Imperial Majesty is “more of the same.”
We’ll see if this is enough to pull The Donald out of his ongoing death spiral. I’m inclined to be skeptical, but we’ll see.