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Trump’s Promised ‘New Foreign Policy’ Must Abandon Regime Change for Iran
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President-elect Donald Trump told a Cincinnati audience this week that he intends to make some big changes in US foreign policy. During his “thank you” tour in the midwest, Trump had this to say:

We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments. …In our dealings with other countries we will seek shared interests wherever possible…”

If this is really to be President Trump’s foreign policy, it would be a welcome change from the destructive path pursued by the two previous administrations. Such a foreign policy would go a long way toward making us safer and more prosperous, as we would greatly reduce the possibility of a “blowback” attack from abroad, and we would save untold billions with a foreign policy of restraint.

However as we know with politicians, there is often a huge gap between pronouncements before entering office and actions once in office. Who can forget President George W. Bush’s foreign policy promises as a candidate 16 years ago? As a candidate he said:

I am not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world saying ‘this is the way it’s got to be.’ … If we’re an arrogant nation they will resent us, if we’re a humble nation but strong they’ll welcome us.

Unfortunately as soon as he took office, George W. Bush pursued a completely different foreign policy, attacking countries like Iraq at the urging of the neocons he placed in positions of power in his White House and State Department.

Some people say that “personnel is policy,” and that much can be predicted about Trump’s foreign policy by the people he has appointed to serve his Administration. That is where we might have reason to be worried. Take Iran, for example. While Trump says he wants the US to stop overthrowing governments, on the issue of Iran both the candidate and his recent appointees have taken a very different view.

Trump’s pick for National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, has said the following about Iran: “I believe that Iran represents a clear and present danger to the region, and eventually to the world…” and, “…regime change in Tehran is the best way to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program.”

Trump’s CIA choice, Mike Pompeo, has said of President Obama’s Iran deal, “The Iranian regime is intent on the destruction of our country. Why the President does not understand is unfathomable.”

And Trump’s selection for Defense Secretary, General James Mattis, was even more aggressive, saying, “The Iranian regime in my mind is the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East. …Iran is not an enemy of ISIS. They have a lot to gain from the turmoil in the region that ISIS creates.”

Donald Trump’s words in Cincinnati don’t seem to match up with the views of the people that he’s assigning to high places. At least when it comes to Iran.

While I hope we can take President Trump at his word when it comes to foreign policy, I also we think we should hold him to his word – especially his encouraging words last week. Will the incoming president have the ability to rein in his more bellicose cabinet members and their underlings? We can be sure about one thing: if Trump allows the neocons to capture the State Department, keeping his foreign policy promises is going to be a lot more difficult.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Iran 
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  1. If this is really to be President Trump’s foreign policy, it would be a welcome change from the destructive path pursued by the two previous administrations. Such a foreign policy would go a long way toward making us safer and more prosperous, as we would greatly reduce the possibility of a “blowback” attack from abroad, and we would save untold billions with a foreign policy of restraint.

    I agree. That’s why I said you should endorse him.

    However as we know with politicians, there is often a huge gap between pronouncements before entering office and actions once in office. Who can forget President George W. Bush’s foreign policy promises as a candidate 16 years ago? As a candidate he said:

    But Trump is not a politician. Hillary is a politician who ran for office stating clearly that she wanted war against Russia. You refused to choose. You sat on the side lines carping about both candidates as if they were two of a kind. Fortunately, Trump won with no help from you. Now you want to hold his feet to the fire? Why should he, or anybody, listen to you?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jtgw
    I'm sure Ron is deeply hurt by your stinging rebuke lol
    , @RadicalCenter
    Because Ron spent his entire life fighting and speaking out for true liberty in America, and seems to be one of the few in DC with integrity, honesty, courage, a sincere love for Americans, and a sincere desire for peace.

    Like you, I also thought it was a clear choice between Trump and Shrillery overall, including foreign policy, where we knew she'd push us closer to war against Russia and he likely wouldn't.

    But early signs on Iran, especially from his SecDef and NSA, are just as discouraging as Ron says they are.

    Ron has earned the right to be listened to, notwithstanding his failure to endorse Trump.
    , @Randal

    Why should he, or anybody, listen to you?
     
    Ron Paul should be listened to because he has a track record of being right on most of the important issues. He's also absolutely correct in the concerns he voices here about the early signs given off by Trump through his personnel picks.

    Intelligent and informed people should rightly be concerned about the early indications for foreign policy under Trump, even whilst still giving him the benefit of the doubt for the moment.

    That said, you are also correct in pointing out that Paul has no personal standing with Trump because he failed to support him when support was needed. That was a clear error by Paul, imo, given the alternative on offer.
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  2. Jtgw says: • Website
    @WorkingClass

    If this is really to be President Trump’s foreign policy, it would be a welcome change from the destructive path pursued by the two previous administrations. Such a foreign policy would go a long way toward making us safer and more prosperous, as we would greatly reduce the possibility of a “blowback” attack from abroad, and we would save untold billions with a foreign policy of restraint.
     
    I agree. That's why I said you should endorse him.

    However as we know with politicians, there is often a huge gap between pronouncements before entering office and actions once in office. Who can forget President George W. Bush’s foreign policy promises as a candidate 16 years ago? As a candidate he said:
     
    But Trump is not a politician. Hillary is a politician who ran for office stating clearly that she wanted war against Russia. You refused to choose. You sat on the side lines carping about both candidates as if they were two of a kind. Fortunately, Trump won with no help from you. Now you want to hold his feet to the fire? Why should he, or anybody, listen to you?

    I’m sure Ron is deeply hurt by your stinging rebuke lol

    Read More
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  3. @WorkingClass

    If this is really to be President Trump’s foreign policy, it would be a welcome change from the destructive path pursued by the two previous administrations. Such a foreign policy would go a long way toward making us safer and more prosperous, as we would greatly reduce the possibility of a “blowback” attack from abroad, and we would save untold billions with a foreign policy of restraint.
     
    I agree. That's why I said you should endorse him.

    However as we know with politicians, there is often a huge gap between pronouncements before entering office and actions once in office. Who can forget President George W. Bush’s foreign policy promises as a candidate 16 years ago? As a candidate he said:
     
    But Trump is not a politician. Hillary is a politician who ran for office stating clearly that she wanted war against Russia. You refused to choose. You sat on the side lines carping about both candidates as if they were two of a kind. Fortunately, Trump won with no help from you. Now you want to hold his feet to the fire? Why should he, or anybody, listen to you?

    Because Ron spent his entire life fighting and speaking out for true liberty in America, and seems to be one of the few in DC with integrity, honesty, courage, a sincere love for Americans, and a sincere desire for peace.

    Like you, I also thought it was a clear choice between Trump and Shrillery overall, including foreign policy, where we knew she’d push us closer to war against Russia and he likely wouldn’t.

    But early signs on Iran, especially from his SecDef and NSA, are just as discouraging as Ron says they are.

    Ron has earned the right to be listened to, notwithstanding his failure to endorse Trump.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. Randal says:
    @WorkingClass

    If this is really to be President Trump’s foreign policy, it would be a welcome change from the destructive path pursued by the two previous administrations. Such a foreign policy would go a long way toward making us safer and more prosperous, as we would greatly reduce the possibility of a “blowback” attack from abroad, and we would save untold billions with a foreign policy of restraint.
     
    I agree. That's why I said you should endorse him.

    However as we know with politicians, there is often a huge gap between pronouncements before entering office and actions once in office. Who can forget President George W. Bush’s foreign policy promises as a candidate 16 years ago? As a candidate he said:
     
    But Trump is not a politician. Hillary is a politician who ran for office stating clearly that she wanted war against Russia. You refused to choose. You sat on the side lines carping about both candidates as if they were two of a kind. Fortunately, Trump won with no help from you. Now you want to hold his feet to the fire? Why should he, or anybody, listen to you?

    Why should he, or anybody, listen to you?

    Ron Paul should be listened to because he has a track record of being right on most of the important issues. He’s also absolutely correct in the concerns he voices here about the early signs given off by Trump through his personnel picks.

    Intelligent and informed people should rightly be concerned about the early indications for foreign policy under Trump, even whilst still giving him the benefit of the doubt for the moment.

    That said, you are also correct in pointing out that Paul has no personal standing with Trump because he failed to support him when support was needed. That was a clear error by Paul, imo, given the alternative on offer.

    Read More
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  5. Fredrik says:

    Regime change is regime change. There’s not really any difference between “good” or “bad” regime change. It’s quite likely that the people pushing for it don’t really understand the different options or that they have other reasons. I mean, Saddam and Khaddafi were obviously evil and deserved their fate but an analysis of the possible successors would have told anyone with an IQ of above 100 that regime change had some drawbacks as well…

    In the particular case of Iran it’s fairly clear that the regime is not popular among Iranians and that they would end up better off with new rulers. On the other hand, why risk it unless there were obvious democratic candidates lining up?

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    • Replies: @OutWest
    Saddam and Kaddafi were perhaps “evil” but they were also linchpin rulers keeping some pretty bad alternatives in check. On net, taking them out was disastrously poor judgement.

    The people of Iran are our one hope for long term improvement. The best way to undermine them is to inject the U.S. into their internal struggle.
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  6. OutWest says:
    @Fredrik
    Regime change is regime change. There's not really any difference between "good" or "bad" regime change. It's quite likely that the people pushing for it don't really understand the different options or that they have other reasons. I mean, Saddam and Khaddafi were obviously evil and deserved their fate but an analysis of the possible successors would have told anyone with an IQ of above 100 that regime change had some drawbacks as well...

    In the particular case of Iran it's fairly clear that the regime is not popular among Iranians and that they would end up better off with new rulers. On the other hand, why risk it unless there were obvious democratic candidates lining up?

    Saddam and Kaddafi were perhaps “evil” but they were also linchpin rulers keeping some pretty bad alternatives in check. On net, taking them out was disastrously poor judgement.

    The people of Iran are our one hope for long term improvement. The best way to undermine them is to inject the U.S. into their internal struggle.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
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