For the Democrats, the killing of Iranian terrorist General Qassem Soleimani offered a great opportunity to tout the risk of having Donald Trump as commander in chief, and they were, as usual, extremely disciplined in maintaining that narrative.
As NPR reported, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa and had this to say about President Trump’s grasp of foreign policy: “The fact is that I don’t think he has any idea what he’s dealing with… Does anybody here think that he has any notion of what the next step is? No, I really mean it. This is – I really never thought – as someone who has spent his whole life involved in national security and foreign policy, I never thought that I’d see something quite like this. I really mean it.”
Former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates’ remark that Joe Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades” lends a certain comic air to Biden’s comments, but he wasn’t the only Democrat selling that line.
Democrat columnist Michael Cohen echoed Biden (or was it the other way around) in a column for The Boston Globe: “Moreover, it does not appear that the Trump administration had put any thought into the question of what happens after Soleimani was killed. I remain cautiously optimistic about the chances of avoiding conflict because both sides likely want to avoid a broader war. But I’m less confident than I was a few days ago. It couldn’t be more clear that the president has no idea what he’s doing and no appreciation for the problems he has caused.”
Obama echo chamber architect Ben Rhodes tweeted a similar talking point: “Does anyone think Donald Trump is equipped to handle a complex, enduring, international crisis that could play out in many countries and demand expertise, rigorous process, and judicious decision-making?”
Despite what the Democrats and their media allies want Americans to believe about President Trump and his foreign policy, Trump has been remarkably consistent in his approach to rogue states, such as North Korea and Iran.
In yesterday’s remarks to the nation, the President sent this message to Iran’s leaders: “U.S. Armed forces are stronger than ever before. Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal, and fast. Under construction are many hypersonic missiles. The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength both military and economic is the best deterrent. Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran. We want you to have a future and a great future – one that you deserve – one of prosperity at home and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”
This is very much the same message that Trump delivered to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. As AP’s Eric Talmadge reported back in February 2019, “President Donald Trump’s message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been simple and clear: give up your nuclear weapons and a flood of wealth will soon be yours for the taking.”
So the Trump pitch to rogue states is clear, certainly clearer than anything Joe Biden ever articulated: Abandon your wasteful nuclear weapons program and abandon your asymmetric attacks on the United States and we will drop all the sanctions and welcome you into the world community where you and your people can enjoy the quality of life that peace and prosperity in the 21st century provide.
North Koreans probably have little idea of the disparity between their lives and that of South Koreans, their media is so tightly controlled. However, Iranians know well what they are missing by being cut off from the West – that’s why they have been protesting in the streets – protests that will likely renew with vigor once the regime’s rent-a-mob commemoration of Soleimani’s death peters out.
The next time you hear Democrats on the campaign trail or in the media tell you Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing on foreign policy, particularly as it relates to rogue states like Iran and North Korea, don’t believe them. There’s a clear and consistent Trump doctrine at work and it makes a lot more sense than sending them pallets of cash or refusing to engage with them and pretending they are not there.