by Robert Romano
It’s been about a month since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opened her certain-to-fail impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Sept. 24, and the world is not getting any safer.
Since that time, on Oct. 1 Hong Kong police for the first time shot live rounds on the Hong Kong protesters during the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, despite U.S. warnings directly from President Trump who said in August, “I think it’d be very hard to deal if they do violence, I mean, if it’s another Tiananmen Square.”
On Oct. 2, North Korea launched a submarine-launched ballistic missile off the coast of Japan despite U.S. sanctions currently in place.
On Oct. 9, Turkey invaded northern Syria despite the threat of U.S. sanctions from Trump who promised he would “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.”
Cause, meet effect.
Now, if anybody can navigate these challenges, it is probably President Trump, who seems to have an uncanny ability to weather any storm. But adversaries abroad are also undoubtedly weighing the possibility of Trump being weakened domestically by the House’s quest to remove him.
On Oct. 5, U.S. negotiators spoke of “good discussions” with their North Korean counterparts as nuclear disarmament talks resumed for the first time since February, looking forward to further talks in the coming weeks. But days later, North Korea said its “patience is running out” and talked down the likelihood of future talks.
On Oct. 7, Trump again warned China on Hong Kong, telling reporters, “If anything happened bad, I think that would be a very bad for the negotiation… I think that they have to do that in a peaceful manner.”
A week later, on Oct. 11, President Trump had a verbal trade agreement with Beijing in hand even as the threat to protesters by police and Chinese military remains quite real. Many analysts also question if China will keep its side of the bargain on agriculture purchases and ending currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.
On Oct. 14, Trump also readied sanctions against Turkey via executive order. Three days later, on Oct. 17, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced they had negotiated a ceasefire between Turkey and Syrian Kurds.
Trump’s critics, situationally ethical as they are, would have had him using U.S. troops as human shields between Turkish forces on one side, and Syrian, Kurdish and Russian forces on the other, tearing NATO apart, relocating the U.S. nuclear deterrent out of Turkey and surrendering the Black Sea — rather than allow the President to relocate U.S. forces a stone’s throw away into Iraq, where there actually is a Congressional authorization to be. If he had left the troops in harm’s way and something bad happened, those same critics would probably have been blaming Trump for risking the NATO alliance.
Still, some fighting persists on the Syrian-Turkish border and it remains to be seen if the ceasefire can hold.
Just another month in the Trump administration, who has been dogged by the investigation into the false conspiracy theory that he and his campaign were some sort of Russian agents since before he ever took office.
From his first days in office, his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, was ambushed by FBI agents with a surprise interrogation over his transition efforts to cool U.S. tensions with Russia in Dec. 2016. Later, Justice Department lawyers would threaten Flynn’s son with prosecution if he would not submit a guilty plea on lying to investigators. Flynn’s plan had been to seek cooperation between the U.S. and Russia on international terrorism.
In 2017, the President’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were leaked to the press.
In 2019, it was Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where both governments requested mutual legal assistance with getting to the bottom of Ukraine’s role in the Russiagate hoax and the U.S.-led role in corruption in Ukraine, that somehow got out of the White House and into the hands of the so-called CIA whistleblower so that it could be leaked to the press illegally and given to Congress. Days later his conversation with the Australian prime minister was leaked again.
Earlier this year, President Trump blamed his former lawyer Michael Cohen being called to testify as nuclear talks with North Korea were taking place in Vietnam for the failure of those talks.
This is a president who is not being allowed to run a foreign policy without interference, from the national security apparatus, from the intelligence agencies, from the Justice Department and from Congress. Never Trump has become the greatest threat to national security we face. It’s a faction in government we could do without.
It makes it harder to deal with threats from China, North Korea, Iran, the Middle East, Ukraine and Russia. Every world leader has to ask themselves, “Will President Trump stay in office?” when conducting negotiations.
Yet, at every turn, President Trump is rising to these challenges, admirably so, that lesser men would have shrank from and capitulated. His administration survived the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which found that there was no conspiracy with Trump and Russia to interfere in the 2016 elections after all.
Yeah, thanks for telling us. Whoops. In the meantime, since 2017, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia has been terminated, both countries still have thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at one another and relations are near all-time lows. The civil war in Ukraine is ongoing, and perhaps there could be a breakthrough and peace agreement there, but will our own deep state bureaucrats ever allow that to happen?
President Trump is attempting to bridge divides, bring peace and improve trade relations abroad — and he is being hampered at every turn by his own government.
Politics is supposed to end at the water’s edge, but in the age of Trump that clearly is a myth. Or at least it is only true when the Washington, D.C. establishment is running foreign policy. If somebody new comes on the stage, like Trump, and tries in his own way to mitigate these conflicts that threaten us all, they lose their minds and attempt to sabotage everything. Pelosi needs to think twice not only about the horrible precedent that is being created by this endless witch hunt, but the peril it is putting humanity in.
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Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.