Turns Out – Going Around the State Dept. is Nothing New

What does a President do if he doesn’t believe he can trust his own State Department diplomats to conduct foreign policy the way he wishes? Find someone he can trust and send them instead. That’s exactly what Trump did when he tapped Giuliani. And Trump certainly wasn’t the first, and he won’t be the last.

from Real Clear Investigations:

Giuliani-Style ‘Shadow’ Diplomacy: Par for the Course for U.S. Presidents

Rudolph Giuliani didn’t hide the fact that he was investigating whether Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. Yet most media have treated Giuliani’s efforts as sneaky and suspect because he acted at the personal behest of the president and not as an official representative of the bureaucracy. The New York Times, for example, claimed Giuliani was conducting “a shadow foreign policy campaign.”

In fact, presidents since George Washington have turned to individuals without formal government positions to pursue foreign policy interests and objectives. Private citizens, often acting as special envoys, have helped negotiate issues ranging from trade to war. While critics deride such efforts as “back-door,” “secret,” or “shadow” undertakings, many presidents have found it useful to dispatch people they trust, who can think and operate outside the constraints of official channels in handling delicate matters. read more

No More Regime Change

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Juan Guaido

I don’t often disagree with President Trump or Vice President Pence on policy, but what we’re hearing regarding the whole Venezuela situation bothers me.

Everyone in their right minds would agree that Nicolás Maduro Moros, current president of Venezuela is a bad guy. And by bad guy, I mean like spawn of Satan bad guy. As bad as was Hugo Chávez, Maduro is worse.

Conditions in Venezuela are already terrible and getting worse all the time. Food is scarce and clean water, almost nonexistent. People are being forced to drink and cook what little food they have in the same foul water in which they wash their clothes (by hand) and children bath in. It’s a miracle that diseases haven’t yet run rampant.

Yet Maduro is unfazed, blaming the plight of “his” people on outside forces aligning against him and his regime. Sounds a lot like Kim Jong Un. read more

Video Podcast – I Agree with the President

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

The government shutdown is upon us. Has anyone noticed? No? Of course no one has noticed. It’s the weekend heading into Christmas. But the government “closes” every weekend and holiday. Yet somehow, we’re supposed to fear the shutdown, because somehow it’s different than the government just closing.

Trump was right to announce that we’re pulling boots-on-the-ground out of Syria. On that, I agree. I didn’t agree with how he did it. I explain why in segment two.

In segment three, I give advice to Trump on how he should handle the shutdown by explaining, via his bully pulpit and on national TV, why the border wall is so vital. As if he needs my advice. read more

Foreign Policy is about Substance and Deeds – Not Words

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Fareed Zakaria said on CNN Sunday that the United States should conduct foreign policy in accordance with its interests and values.

He was of course deriding Donald Trump’s style of foreign policy. And surprise, surprise, Fareed was critical of Trump’s handling of it.

He, like all other leftists, just can’t seem to wrap their collective pin-heads around the Trump way.

Zakaria says that, “America’s foreign policy should not be based on personalities. Donald Trump’s worldview seems utterly rooted in his likes and dislikes of other leaders – from Kim Jong Un to Angela Merkel to MBS [Mohammad bin Salman].”

In other words, from the left’s vacuous vantage point, Trump favors whom he appears to like and vice versa. read more

White House Ruled by Fear

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

Obama is an interesting case study of the classic schoolyard bully. The bully controls his turf, his schoolyard. He sets the rules, does what he wants and believes he’s free to push everyone else around.

 

It’s a familiar environment and he’s comfortable there. But take him out of that comfort zone, place him in another schoolyard, where he has no influence or reputation and he becomes a shrinking Violet, afraid to act for fear that his bluster and bravado might lead to an actual confrontation for which he is neither prepared nor equipped.

 

This is Barack Obama – domestic policy schoolyard bully. This is what he knows – community agitation. He understands nothing of foreign policy and it scares him to death.

 

No one outside United States fears or respects him. No foreign entity worries about his IRS, Justice Department, BLM, EPA, etc.

 

And this is the reason our foreign policy is a shambles. Obama is afraid to lead, afraid to take decisive action outside his own schoolyard. read more

Better The Devil You Know

by: the Common Constitutionalist

There are several major earth moving news stories happening simultaneously – the ongoing saga between Russia and Ukraine – the Israeli, Hamas battle in Gaza, which may escalate into a two front conflict. It seems Fatah in the West Bank is moving closer to aligning permanently with Hamas, which will surely mean stepped-up assaults by terrorists on Israel from both Gaza and the West Bank.

The self-proclaimed Islamic state is expanding and has declared war on everyone – Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.

Meanwhile in Africa, more and more territory is being plagued by increased outbreaks of the Ebola virus. It appears to be uncontained and spreading.

And there is, of course, the perpetual chaos at our southern border.

All in all, it seems the world is coming apart around us.

I find myself longing for the good old days, when our greatest concern was containing strong-arm dictators from attacking their neighbors. read more

Shocker: CNN Writer Loves Diplomacy

by: the Common Constitutionalist
Every time the United States has gone to war and even during a postwar period, there is the inevitable debate of isolationism versus intervention – diplomacy versus a military solution.

Going all the way back to George Washington, where many mistook Washington’s want for neutrality as isolationism. Prior to both World Wars, there were many who called to remain isolated.

It’s a natural tendency, particularly after a long protracted engagement, to simply say, “the heck with the rest of the world – we can’t solve everyone’s problems and we can’t be the world’s 911”.

In other words, this foreign policy debate is nothing new.

So I found it interesting when I discovered a CNN.com article I printed from last December and just forgot about. It was entitled, “Against a New American Isolationism“, by John Glenn (not that John Glenn).

The article began by stating, “At a moment when diplomacy is back in the international spotlight, are Americans becoming isolationist, wanting the United States to pull back from the world?” And that, “Democratic strategist Doug Sosnik released a memo identifying ‘pull back from the rest of the world’ as the number one area of consensus across the political spectrum ahead of the 2014 elections.”

He then goes on to write that it is not isolationism but rather a choice between solving domestic issues and foreign intervention. read more

America’s Foreign/Military Policy Doctrine

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Last week Mark Levin spoke on his radio show about foreign policy – in light of the whole Iraq mess resurfacing.

Actually Iraq never went away. Do we really think ISIS just coincidentally attacked now?

It’s not as if the terrorist gang was just formed yesterday. They’ve been around since 2006. ISIS was actually formed by the unification of three separate terror groups – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda faction, the Mujahedeen Shura Council in Iraq and the Jund al-Shahhaba (the soldiers of the Prophet’s companions).

After America vacated the area, they organized and moved in to fill the void that we left.

Mark asked the question: “What is the United States going to do about things like this – nothing? Will we pick a side? Should we pick a side, or will we just stand on the sidelines and watch?

He asked on what our foreign policy/military policy should be based? What is the doctrine we should follow, or is there simply no doctrine? read more

A Tale of Two Administrations

By: the Common Constitutionalist
The Obama administration is one the most, if not the most schizophrenic in American history.

I literally mean the dictionary definition of schizophrenic which is, “a state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements.”

In other words, the separation between our government’s treatment of foreign policy, or more precisely, how other countries now view America, and domestic policy, or the way the average American citizen views their/our own government.

Take a look around the globe and name one country that any longer fears the potential wrath of United States, except our once loyal ally, Israel.

Russia, under Putin is on the move. He can’t stand Obama, knows he’s a girlie man and will continue to do whatever he wishes, regardless of our administrations feckless attempts to talk him into submission.

Russia supplies at least 25% of Europe’s natural gas and there is currently no replacement for it. He’s knows this, therefore they won’t dare face him down. Putin obviously knows that any “tough” talk coming from Obama or his minions is just that – talk.

He has no fear of the United States and thus no fear of expanding his empire. read more

Obama’s View On Terrorism

President Obama’s State of the Union gave us a look at the premises driving his foreign policy. It showed that he believes Islamic terrorists to be driven by frustration over perceived injustices at the hands of the West, rather than an ideology. It is because of this belief that he can promote the nuclear deal with Iran and depict the regime as a less threatening version of the Soviet Union.

Three key lines in the speech illustrated the fundamentals underlying the Obama Administration’s foreign policy.

First, Obama indicated that he sees terrorism-sponsoring Islamist regimes as comparable to the communists of the Cold War. Both are primarily motivated by power and wealth and are open to mutually-beneficial deals. He said:

“If John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.” read more