by George Rasley
While the establishment media and self-appointed pundits focused on the U.N. audience reaction to President Trump’s truthful boast that “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country…” they missed the most important part of the President’s remarks – the announcement of what might be called the Trump doctrine.
What the President said that was so important was this:
We are also standing up for our citizens and for peace loving people everywhere. We believe that when nations respect the rights of their neighbors and defend the interests of their people, they can better work together to secure the blessings of safety, prosperity, and peace. Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth.
That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, and I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live, work, or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.
Contrast President Trump’s articulation of American foreign policy and international relations to how former President George W. Bush stated his 2002 national security strategy:
The great struggles of the 20th century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom — and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy and free enterprise.
These values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society — and the duty of protecting these values against their enemies is the common calling of freedom-loving people across the globe and across the ages.
In directly rejecting global governance and clearly embracing non-intervention President Trump announced what may be the most libertarian foreign policy since George Washington admonished Americans to avoid foreign entanglements:
Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard…
It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…
However, President Trump, contrary to the criticism of some on the Right, did not embrace isolationism – far from it.
The President made a strong case for ratcheting-up sanctions against Iran and stated clearly that:
We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America” and threatens Israel with annihilation. They cannot possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth, we just cannot do it. We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues and we ask all nations to support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.
And he also announced new sanctions against the thugocracy in Venezuela, while warning the Syrian regime against further use of chemical weapons in its ongoing civil war.
The President called his doctrine a “policy of principled realism” that could be applied not just to matters of war and peace, but also to commercial relations, saying:
This true, not only in matters of peace, but in matters of prosperity. We believe that trade must be fair and reciprocal. The United States will not be taken advantage of any longer. For decades, the United States opened its economy, the largest by far on Earth, with few conditions.
President Trump concluded that section of his remarks by saying, “…those days are over. We will no longer tolerate such abuse. We will not allow our workers to be victimized, our companies to be cheated, and our wealth to be plundered and transferred. America will never apologize for protecting its citizens.”
While the Left and the globalist leaders of other countries were predictably critical, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech… President Trump spoke the truth about the great dangers facing our world and issued a powerful call to confront them in order to ensure the future of humanity.”
President Trump’s remarks at the UN were noteworthy, not so much for their radical departure from the interventionist policies of the two Bush presidents, and their rejection of the weakness and globalism of Obama, but for their return to the principles of George Washington.
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George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com and is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns. A member of American MENSA, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for Rep. Mac Thornberry now-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.