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The Trump Doctrine: Foreign Policy with THE DONALD Captaining the Ship of State

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest — and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second tallest. And now it’s the tallest.” [Donald Trump in radio interview with WWOR as reported by Timothy Bella, The Washington Post: it’s always about him]

From time to time, Presidents of the United States become known for their foreign policy doctrines. Washington had “no entangling alliances.” Monroe had the Monroe Doctrine. Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big stick. Truman had the Truman Doctrine.

Certainly, it is not incumbent on a President to develop a formal doctrine or set of principles by which he is guided in his foreign policy decisions. Sometimes it is only after the fact when outsiders seek to make sense of what has occurred can some semblance of a coherent doctrine be determined. On the other hand, sometimes people lurch from event to event as they occur simply reacting to the chance circumstances of whatever happens.

And then there is the Trump Doctrine. It wasn’t always clear that there was a Trump Doctrine. So much of his decision-making seems impulsive and happenstance devoid of any coherent principles. Perhaps the best known and most consistent policy has been his submissiveness to Putin and other alpha males plus his love of theatricality centered on him. He does love playing with his Hollywood-casted toy soldiers. At least until they think they are actual people with minds of the own with loyalties to the Constitution and have to be fired/resigned.

Foreign policy has not been a big part of his administration until now. As I have written, for THE DONALD except for Mueller much of his presidency has been playtime. Now he is operating in the adult world and he is out of his league. The continual revealing of his actions taken in the Ukraine and to cover up those actions are important for two reasons. One, they will lead directly to his impeachment. Two, they provide insight into how this President who eviscerated the State Department conducts foreign affairs. His actions in Syria are a beacon to the world: he can be rolled by dictators and abandons allies without any awareness of there being consequences to his actions – there are no adults in the White House.

What does this all mean?

MIKE MULVANEY

Let’s begin with Mike Mulvaney, a former adult who regressed into being a babbling baby. He actually was a pretty good predictor of his own situation.

Mulvaney added he believed Trump’s emotional appeals and cavalier attitude might prompt him to try going around the Constitution.

“I wonder who is more interested in going around the Constitution in order to get things done. Barack Obama or Donald Trump,” Mulvaney said. [CNN, December 21, 2018]

We all know the answer to that debate! We all know that once Mulvaney became a member of this administration he had no qualms about circumventing the Constitution. Of course there was a quid pro quo! Get over it – perhaps the very words that will define him for all eternity on his tombstone.

In my blog entitled Mick Mulvaney Parachutes onto a Ship in Chaos the Rats Are Abandoning, written at the same time as the CNN article, I wrote the following about Syria then:

The more the real world presses in, the more the immature child president will lash out without any concern for the consequences. He lacks the mental necessities to understand the concept of consequences or even to care. He must give in to the impulse of the hissy fit not just in his tweets but in his decision-making. Consider his decisions to withdraw from Syria and half-withdraw from Afghanistan. Far from being well-thought decisions carefully implemented, they are case studies in the decision-making process of our immature child president who feels more and more trapped by the real world. Look at what has happened in just a tweet.

– He has granted Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the coveted 00 O.J, license to kill previously awarded to Putin and MBS.
– He has shown no loyalty to the Kurds who put their lives on the line to fight with us as allies against ISIS.
– He has shown that the very concept of “allies” has no meaning to the transactional President – unless you can offer something to him he could not care less about you.
– He has no interest in America being a world leader and does not care who fills in the vacuum.

All things considered, I think I nailed that one. While I did not exactly predict the current situation, I think I described a reasonable facsimile of what has and is transpiring.

What I did not formulate was the Trump Doctrine of foreign policy that now can be seen more clearly.

1. Be submissive to alpha males especially if there is the prospect of a business deal with them.
2. Actions 7,000 miles away do not matter.
3. There are no allies, everything is transactional.
4. There are no alliances, everything is individually transactional.
5. We should only help people fighting for their land if they were with us at Normandy.
6. We should only help people fighting for their land if they cover our costs.
7. We will ask you to provide dirt on political opponents even if it is not true.

Hard as I may seem to believe, these guidelines one day will be studied in school along with the other doctrines previously mentioned. Students will even be tested on their ability to recall and recite the Trump Doctrine.

In the present, countries have no problem understanding what the Trump Doctrine is. They may have grave fears about what it means for them but they have no doubts that as long as the current President remains in office, these guidelines remain in place.

Saudi Arabia can afford us even though it was not at Normandy. And it buys Trump properties. Yet we did nothing when Iran attacked it. One has to wonder what our President will do even if our troops are paid for when Iran attacks again.

The Baltic States cannot afford us and they were not at Normandy. If Russia ever decides it has the resources to invade the Baltics, we will do nothing. In this regard, the Ukraine imbroglio works to the advantage of the Baltic States. The longer Russia is bogged down there and the sanctions remain, the less likely it is to attack any Baltic State.

Taiwan can afford us but was not at Normandy. Even if it does not pay us now, China is probably too preoccupied at present to invade so there is no urgency to Taiwan paying us. However, if that moment of truth comes in the present administration, Taiwan better cough up the money fast if it wants our assistance.

Israel can afford us but was not at Normandy. Even if it does not pay us now, Iran is probably aware of what Israel would do in retaliation to an attack. In addition, Hezbollah is too busy trying to maintain control in Lebanon to attack Israel now even if it acquires sufficient precision missiles to eliminate Israel’s retaliatory ability.

The Trump Doctrine marks the end of the post-World War II era of international diplomacy. We have been in transition since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the “end of history.” Now a new doctrine has been implemented. Coalitions and alliances have been replaced by the rule of alpha males, transactional relationships, and foreign interference in American Presidential elections on behalf of the President. The old saying of “commander in chief and leader of the free world” is obsolete.

Allies are abandoned, enemies are emboldened. They don’t watch Fox, They don’t attend his professional political rallies. They don’t worship THE DONALD. They know the truth of the immature child masquerading as the adult THE DONALD. Trumpicans are still living the lie. Perhaps by the time of the impeachment and the trial to remove him, the Trumpicans finally will see the truth behind the act. Perhaps watching THE DONALD be rolled will achieve what the Mueller report did not. Perhaps the sacrifice of the Kurds will achieve what the Democrats have been unable to do. Perhaps the real world will expose the lie that is THE DONALD and bring this show to a close.

Playtime for The Donald Is Over: The Reality Star Meets the Real World

The Wicked Witch of the White House Threatens Whistleblower Toto (https://parade.com)

Playtime for The Donald is over. For much of his presidency up until now it has been fun. He got to be the center of attention. He got to demean and mock people. He got to be the center of attention. He got to help rich people get richer. He got to be the center of attention. He got to reverse almost everything Obama had championed. He got to be the center of attention. He got to promote his resorts, hotels, and businesses to people who wanted to buy his favor. He got to be the center of attention. He got to perform in professional political wrestling arenas before adoring crowds of worshipers. He got to the center of attention. He got to play golf and watch TV to his ego’s content. He got to be the center of attention. And he got to throw rolls of paper towels at people clamoring for his attention. He really did get to be the center of attention.

The real world moments were few and far between. Yes, he thought the Mueller report would expose his entire sleazy tawdry life from being a corrupt slime ball real-estate developer to being a corrupt slime ball president. But that turned out to be a nothingburger. Yes, he has not built the wall but he keeps trying and may be making progress even if it is at the expense of national security and in violation of the Constitution. Yes, he has not denuclearized North Korea and won the Noble Prize. Yes, he has not eliminated healthcare. Still over all, he has taken pride in having the greatest first two years of any American President and undoubtedly deserving of having his face alone carved on the biggest mountain he can find. After all, how can he be impeached with the economy being so great? The sad part is that is actually how his brain operates.

The real world functions differently. There are limits as to how long you can deceive it. Eventually even the Soviet Union was exposed as not being the wave of the future. The same applies to our immature child president attempting to pass for an adult and struggling to maintain the con as the real world presses in. Two recent events have exposed the immature child behind the curtain as not being The Donald. The first was with Iran and the second was with the Ukraine.

IRAN

Iran provided The Donald with a major opportunity to reverse Obama. He kept his campaign pledge to withdraw America from the nuclear treaty that prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Now Iran was free to develop them since there was no treaty prohibiting them from doing so. Take that Obama!

While withdrawing from the nuclear arms treaty, he ramped up the sanctions. His goal was regime change without military intervention. The sanctions would make life so horrid and stressful that eventually the people would rise up and remove the government for us. After all sanctions had a proven record of regime change and behavior modification in Cuba, Russia, and North Korea, so why wouldn’t they work in Iran as well?

Naturally, as an immature child he lacked the mental necessities to think things throw. He was unable to recognize the possibility of consequences other than the collapse of the country. Another possibility was that Iran would lose patience with the efforts of European nations to circumvent the American sanctions and instead would take matters into their own hands. To no surprise to anyone who stopped to think about it, that is exactly what Iran did. It initiated a series of escalating attacks that culminated so far in the bombing of Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Each action provided the Iranians with the opportunity to gauge the mettle of The Donald. What would Bonespur Boy do in the real world when confronted with a direct assault on his manhood?

The Iranians were quick to expose the truth of The Donald. What did they learn from seizing ships, shooting down drones, and bombing oil fields? They learned that he is a warrior on Twitter and in professional political wrestling arenas but not on he field of battle. As Ali Bigdeli political analyst in Tehran put it: “He is not a lion, he is a rabbit.”

It may even be said that the Iranian officials boasted after the attacks about the leverage they had gained. Iran could give Little Donnee-Wanee the finger and pay no price in the global arena.

The world was watching. “If we were to believe everything Trump has said for the past three years, there would have been war with China, North Korea and Mexico,” said Joseph Fahim, an Egyptian film critic back in June. “The guy’s a joke, he’s not serious. We don’t know if these threats are something to believe in, or just another of his many stunts.”  Abdulkhleq Abdulla, political scientist United Arab Emirates said: “Trump, in his response to Iran, is even worse than Obama.”

The unfavorable comparison of The Donald to Obama for his lack of manhood is low blow indeed. Now everybody can see The Donald as a weeny. No matter how he is provoked he will not respond beyond sanctions and tweets. That is his limit. Iran knows it. North Korea knows it. China knows it. Russia knows it…not that it was ever worried about what its asset would do. Our allies know it too. Of course, thanks to transactional relationships on trade, The Donald has done such a superb job of alienating allies that he has created a world of America Alone. What ally would rely on the United States to come to its aid if under attack as long as Donald Trump is president?

IMPEACHMENT

The new question is how much longer will be President? Here we once again can see how quickly the scandal of the day moves on. Remember Greenland. Remember Alabama. Remember Corey Lewandowski. Remember Kellyanne Conway:

“Blah, blah blah. If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts.”

Answer: it starts when there is a Democratic president and the rule of law returns to the White House.

The Ukraine is a whole new ball game. Ironically it was the Mueller report and the Mueller testimony in Congress that gave The Donald the green light to go forward in the Ukraine with its new administration. Now he would prove that Seth Rich really was behind the hacking, I mean that the Ukraine was. Now he would prove that the witch hunt really had been a hoax. Now he would prove that the wrong people had been targeted and that the real villains had gotten off scot free. Now he would prove that conspiracy theories exposed by Fox were true. Now he would have his revenge.

“You’re a bad man. You’re a very bad man.” The unleashed child in a Twilight Zone classic (CBS) See MAD DOG BANISHED TO THE CORNFIELDS: TWILIGHT ZONE EPISODE BECOMES REAL blog (12/25/18)

So far … and the story is still unfolding… things have not worked out as he had hoped. There turned out to be a whistleblower who deserves a medal unless Putin, Saudi OJ, or the 2nd Amendment boys get him first. There turned out to be an acting intelligence chief who has integrity. The now-resigned- Ukraine envoy probably has integrity too. There turns out to be more hidden phone call transcripts that will expose The Donald. More and more will be revealed as time goes by. The impeachment might even include obstruction charges!

The real world is not like Hollywood. For a child to pass for an adult is not easy. It is not like 13 year-old Tom Hanks becoming big. It is not like Jennifer Garner going from 13 to 30. It is not like teenage Lindsay Lohan becoming Jamie Lee Curtis. As the pressure mounts, the challenge to cope with the adult world will increase. Instead of being a comedy, we are watching a person go off the rails. As David Axelrod suggests, let Trump be Trump. Who knows what he will tweet next that only amplifies his political and legal jeopardy.

At this point, the issue of impeachment seems more of “when” and not “if.” What remains open is what will happen in the Republican Senate now that The Donald has been exposed as a combined Mafioso little-bunny-wunny Rabbit.

The story continues.

Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?
Will Sean Hannity Become a Profile in Courage?