Last week likely Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump delivered a powerful speech calling for the development of "a new foreign policy direction for our country - one that replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy, and chaos with peace." Due to what his campaign called "overwhelming interest", Trump's speech, originally scheduled for the National Press Club, was relocated to a ball room at Washington's Mayflower Hotel.
While the Russia Analyst's intent isn't to parse every line of the speech, we do want to highlight for RogueMoney readers around the world what a breach with the neoconservative, neo-liberal interventionist Republicrat/Democan 'consensus' on foreign policy from the last two Administrations Trump's speech represents. It's as if, despite the introduction to his remarks by former Bush 43 Administration ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, all the smart people that have watched in pent up frustration for nearly two decades as Washington has stumbled from one hubris-fueled intervention after another have gathered around Mr. Trump.
The First Speech by Any Leading American Politician in Decades (Besides Now Retired Congressman Ron Paul) That Actually Names the American People's Enemy: Globalism
In the speech, Trump identified five main themes linking foreign policy failure with Washington's failures in 'free' (actually globalist) trade, over-taxation and over-regulation. In doing so, for the very first time in perhaps a generation since Patrick J. Buchanan's failed 1992 run for the Republican nomination, a leading American politician offered a full-throated defense of America as a nation state putting its own interests first -- not the Anglo-globalist empire that Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or Barack Obama in his own smarmy fake 'progressive' form have offered the world.
To the delight of Buchanan, Trump had the audacity to name the ideology that dare not speak its name -- and whose very mention sets the likes of the Council on Foreign Relations pukes or neoconservatives chortling about 'tin foil hat wearers' if it's even mentioned -- globalism. Namely, the belief that the Westphalian nation-state is an outdated construct in the 21st century, and all must bow to the dictates of transnational organizations like the European Union, supranational trade deals negotiated in strict secrecy like the TPP (aka the Toilet Paper Protocols)/TTIP, and multinational corporations:
The Donald Has Shifted the Overton Window on Russia and NATO:
Trump Has Made Open Dissent Against Cold War 2.0 in the 2016 Election Possible
As we reported in a previous article about Trump's willingness to take on the Washington and Atlanticist Establishment's sacred cows, the Donald continues to shift the Overton Window for what it is and isn't possible to say in American politics. In that sense, even if he goes down to defeat in November to what will likely be a massive voter-fraud boosted victory for Hillary Rodham Clinton, Trump will have inexorably shifted the terms of foreign policy discussion in America.
Amidst the idiotic competition among GOP also rans and losers to see who could appear 'tougher on Putin' by vowing to shoot down more Russian planes over Syria to save Jabhat al-Nusra or other terrorists from Russian bombs, Trump's line of 'let the Russians bomb the hell out of ISIS' drew huge applause last October. And why not?
Did the arrogant, out of touch with reality neocons really think that fighting both the Russians who are fighting ISIS while claiming to fight the Islamic State would make sense to most ordinary Americans? Or that yet another American war in an Arabic-speaking nation after two plus a quagmire in Afghanistan over the last fifteen years would be an easy sell?
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Trump's insistence that he can 'get along with Putin' and seek a 'deal' with Russia has proven to be at least a small part of his appeal to broad swathes of the electorate who simply don't give a damn about Syria or Ukraine, and resent the neocons and elitist 'liberal' interventionist war-hawks in D.C. who do. After all, how many Joses in East L.A., LeMarcuses in Detroit, or Joe Six Packs in Wolf Gray's North Carolina really want to see their sons bleeding and dying alongside Ukrainian troops over which flag flies over Donetsk or Mariupol? How can neocons continue to support an America that looks increasingly like Brazil while labeling as isolationist or worse anyone who wishes the U.S. to have a more Brazilian-like foreign policy, that is one more focused on trade and less on an empire of military bases and (G)NGOs overseas?
Furthermore, Trump has exposed the hypocrisy of even the most hysterical Russia haters in Europe, by pointedly asking if Germany and other NATO member nations are so worried about Russian aggression, why aren't they doing more in Ukraine? "Why does it always have to be us?" Trump pointedly asks, as he questions why all but three non-U.S. NATO members, only two of which -- Turkey and Great Britain -- aren't tiny Estonia, spend more than 2% of their annual GDP on defense.
Trump could have also added, though he had enough tact not to, that many of the countries that insist they're terrified of Russian aggression have sent no troops to fight alongside the armed forces of Ukraine, or at least implausibly deny (Poland cough cough) that they have sent combatants to the Donbass.
Trump's Assembled Team of Experts and Prominent Supporters Like RogueMoney Guest Roger Stone vs. 'Experts' Who Are Hyper-Interventionist Blowhards
When accused of being flippant or ignorant of military or intelligence affairs, Trump has pushed back by not only mentioning advisers like Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (USA ret.) the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (who is hated by the neocons as the man whose staff likely generated the now-declassified 2012 DIA memo accurately predicting the rise of a Salafist Caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq, and naming U.S. 'allies' Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar as the primary sponsors of what would become ISIS). Flynn even said in late 2015 that the Obama White House made a 'willful decision' to ignore the nascent Islamic State in 2014 because it was far more worried about pressuring Assad or the Iranian-backed government in Baghdad than the rise of a terrorist Caliphate in the Levant.
Trump has also frequently mentioned in interviews his uncle, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who used to speak with him about nuclear weapons as far back as the Seventies and Eighties. We mention this here, because U.S. Naval (Twitter) War (on Trump) College Professor Tom Nichols, one of Trump's harshest critics who seems to be tweeting out anti-Trump vitriol on U.S. Department of Defense (read: the taxpayers') time, has attacked The Donald as clueless regarding nukes because he once misspoke about America's nuclear 'triad'. In response to Prof. Nichols, we would point out the following: Trump likely knows more about the awesome destructive power of modern nuclear weapons thanks to his uncle than all of his opponents, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Trump is also the only presidential candidate to give a major foreign policy speech mentioning the increasingly decayed if not soon to be decrepit state of America's nuclear delivery platforms, whether it's (bored to death crews cheating on readiness tests) operating their decades-old Minutemen missiles in the silos of Wyoming, or B-52 bombers old enough to be grandfathers. At the same time, Trump has emphasized to Chris Matthews of MSNBC and others that he would be 'the last one' to drop The Bomb, contrary to media manipulations of his remarks that seek to portray him as some sort of loose cannon lunatic.
In response to Prof. Nichols sneering about blue collar white Trump supporters allegedly complaining about 'Mexicans taking my jerbs' or 'build muh wall' on the Mexican border, the good professor should probably get used to Trump's more trolly #AltRight Twitter fan club members retorting to he and other interventionists with tweets like, "But mah Ukraine war!" or "TOW missiles for muh moderate Syria jihadis!" or "muh NATO!'
The point is, the contempt flows both ways as does the dismissal of the other sides' sacred cows and policy priorities. Not for nothing have some Trump tweeters, whom Nichols will probably swear are actually Russian trolls sitting in St. Petersburg, prepared tweets like this one that ought to come with 'trigger warnings' about sending neoconservatives and Russia haters into fits of rage:
The long term impact of Trump's speech last week is the long overdue recognition by a candidate representing millions of American voters that globalism as an adversary to jobs, prosperity, and national sovereignty. Whatever Mr. Trump's other faults: an ego the size of Manhattan, his relationship with the Clintons prior to entering Republican Party politics, or his acknowledged need to appear 'more presidential' and shoot from the hip less often while speaking (the Mayflower Hotel speech was one of the first Trump has given using a teleprompter rather than from memory), naming globalism as an adversary to ordinary Americans is critical. As Trump complains about the Obama White House's relationship to the phrase 'radical Islamic terrorism', if you cannot even name the enemy, how can you fight much less expect to win the war?
Below: video of the full speech (that runs about 45 minutes) delivered on April 27, 2016: