‘Few thought it possible’
A truism of the mainstream news media: If you are forced to admit that Donald Trump may have succeeded, you must attribute it to pure, feckless happenstance. Because all right-thinking progressives know — it is received wisdom — that Donald Trump is a dunderhead, remote-controlled by Vladimir Putin. Given to wild mood swings. Hears voices. Tweets.
Rather than give credit, a news analysis in The Atlantic brays:
“Donald Trump stumbles into
a foreign-policy triumph”
Notice how The Atlantic sprinkles ants on Trump’s picnic table in this sentence:
Although Trump’s foreign-policy strategy (if one even accepts that there is such a thing) has many limits, his unpredictability and, most critically, his willingness to escalate a crisis using the United States’ military and economic strength, has turned the tables on Iran in a way few thought possible.
Certainly, no one on a Democrat(ic) debate stage thought possible!
When the Ayatollah lays a big American flag down on Iranian pavement and its citizens respectfully refuse to desecrate it, that’s pretty much proof the strike on Soleimani was a master stroke, a game changer.
Gosh, Beav, we can’t kill the guy that is killing Americans and indigenous freedom fighters throughout the Middle East! His country might get mad at us. The Washington Times inventoried some of the chicken littles:
- “Is the U.S. headed for World War III?” (McClatchy News)
- “Five places World War III could start in 2020” (The National Interest)
- “People are debating whether it’s OK to joke about World War 3” (The Independent).
- “Will Americans let Trump start World War III?” (Salon)
This president doesn’t bow and scrape
The Atlantic admits that “The air strike that killed Qassem Soleimani was a reminder that the U.S. remains the one indispensable global superpower. Iran, or indeed anyone else, simply cannot respond in kind.” Must have been pure luck.
The president’s erratic behavior might be doing something else as well, something even more fundamental. Through a combination of instinct, temperament, and capriciousness, Trump may be reminding the world of the reality of international relations: Raw military and economic power still matter more than anything else — so long as those who hold them are prepared to use them. [Barack Obama. Joe Biden]
Whether by accident or design, Trump creates chances to solve long-running international problems that a conventional leader would not.
- Like making prosperous Europe live up to their NATO defense obligations.
- Like fulfilling an old American promise to move our embassy to Jerusalem.
- Like cutting off aid to countries that oppose us.
- Like reckoning with China and getting a better trade deal.
Indeed, rather than defend Obama/Biden’s Iranian-bound cargo planeload of cash, Boris Johnson is now calling for a new ‘Trump deal.”
Blaska’s Bottom Line — It is better to be lucky than good but no one can be Trump lucky without being pretty damn good. The problem with previous leaders wasn’t that they weren’t lucky. They were too conventional. Then again, so are the commentariat. Which is why “few thought it possible.”