Trump Foreign Policy

The reason Russia wants us out of Syria is the reason we should stay

Featured image Over the weekend, a U.S. fighter jet downed a Syrian warplane after Bashir al-Assad’s troops attacked positions of U.S. backed forces fighting against ISIS. The confrontation took place near the one-time ISIS stronghold of Tabqa, not too far from Raqqa. Like the recent U.S. attack on a pro-Assad convoy in Southeastern Iraq, the downing of the Syrian jet should not be viewed as intervention intended to topple Assad, Rather, it »

Two cheers for Trump’s new Cuba policy

Featured image The “in” vacation among some of my liberal neighbors, friends, and relatives is a visit to Cuba. These hypocrites favor boycotts of North Carolina over its bathroom laws and of Ivanka Trump’s product lines because, even though she supports gay rights, she’s related to the president. Yet they are eager to patronize Cuba, where gays were harshly persecuted for decades (and still are to a lesser degree) and where, worse »

Nikki Haley, star

Featured image President Trump has made some outstanding appointments (although one of the best, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recently offered to resign in the face of criticism from the president). Right now, my favorite Trump appointee is U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley. In the tradition of our best U.N. ambassadors — Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeane Kirkpatrick — Haley has been a powerful voice against U.N. hypocrisy. Most notably, she has denounced U.N. »

Freakout in Paris

Featured image Here is another contender for most over-the-top reaction to President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. Francois Hoisbourg, described as a French defense expert who advised President Macron during his campaign, said: We have just witnessed President Trump putting an end to European-American relations. Something must have been lost in translation — sanity. Insane though it may be, the Washington Post, in a story by Michael »

Post “fact-checkers” swing and miss at Trump’s Paris accord speech

Featured image By now, most people understand that “fact-checkers” for organs like the Washington Post are just liberals trying to package their talking points under a byline they hope will bolster their waning credibility. That’s certainly the case with this Washington Post “fact check” (by Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee) of President Trump’s explanation for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. This howler appears in the second paragraph: Trump also »

Paris was yesterday

Featured image It’s official. President Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. Here’s the story in the Washington Post. You can almost see tears being shed by reporters Philip Rucker and Chris Mooney. The White House’s written statement to reporters says: The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first. The Accord was negotiated »

Why the Paris Accord Doesn’t Matter—and Does

Featured image Word is that President Trump will announce his decision on whether the U.S. will remain in the Paris Climate Accord at 3 pm eastern time today. It is rumored that he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Accord, probably by invoking its own clause allowing for withdrawal on a four-year timeline, but that the U.S. will remain a full participant in the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, which »

What to make of the Trump-Merkel dispute?

Featured image To those who have it in for our president, it’s obvious what to make of it — President Trump’s bluster and ignorance have alienated one of America’s most important allies and, in the words of the Washington Post, “sent tremors through Washington’s core postwar alliances.” But is the war of words really Trump’s fault? I don’t think so. One issue of contention is Germany’s unwillingness to meet its financial commitment »

The full Pelosi

Featured image A reporter at her regular news conference this past Thursday asked House Minority Leader for her impressions of President Trump’s first trip abroad. She prefaced her answer with comments on her own trip abroad during a recent break, passing on foreign criticism of Trump while purporting to find it inappropriate. “We may have our disagreements which we fully air in our own country,” she volunteered, “but we don’t go overseas »

Michael Oren on Trump in Israel, &c.

Featured image Michael Oren is the prominent historian, former Israeli ambassador to the United States, member of Israel’s Knesset and deputy minister for public diplomacy. He recently sat for a 90-minute interview with Times of Israel editor David Horovitz (audio below). Much of the discussion is devoted to President Trump’s visit to Israel last week. Raoul Wootliff reports on the interview here with video clips. Wootliff’s account selects highlights and pulls newsworthy »

Analyze this

Featured image John Dickerson conducted an intensely interesting interview with Secretary of Defense James Mattis at West Point this past Saturday for broadcast yesterday (video below). RCP has posted video along with a transcript of the interview here. Secretary Mattis discussed our progress in the war against ISIS. He noted a shift in our tactics that he describes as follows: “We have already shifted from attrition tactics, where we shove them from »

This Week in Trump

Featured image Normally I don’t traffic in the typical media thumb-sucking about what’s immediately ahead for the President, or other unctuous, subjunctive commands about what the President “must do” if he is going to advance. But I make an exception now because I have a sense that Trump might make some big moves this week following on his highly successful and consequential first foreign trip. How do I know it was a »

Is Rex Tillerson clueless?

Featured image No, not as a general matter. But when it comes to Middle East, he may be. Consider this statement by the Secretary of State: We solve the Israeli Palestinian peace dilemma, we start solving a lot of the peace throughout the Middle East region. We’ve been railing against this sort of nonsense for almost the entire 15 years (as of this weekend) of Power Line’s existence. Tillerson’s statement is a »

Should the U.S. take decisive military action in south Syria?

Featured image Last week, U.S. planes attacked a pro-Assad convoy in southern Syria. The convoy had violated a restricted zone around a base where United States and British Special Forces train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. I wrote about the attack here, noting that the area in question is of strategic importance to Assad, Syrian rebels, Iran, Russia, and the U.S., and hence a likely future battleground quite apart from the fight »

Trump’s Saudi Arabia speech — a good day for the president and the U.S.

Featured image Here is the text of President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia to heads of dozens of Muslim-majority states. The speech is excellent. Trump’s approach to the Muslim world in this speech aligns, in general terms, with his approach to other less than friendly world actors. As with China, to name one, Trump eschews past hostile rhetoric and assumes (or pretends to) the best in the hope of securing assistance in »

More on Trump In Riyadh

Featured image I agree with everything Scott wrote here about President Trump’s magnificent speech in Riyadh. Having reviewed the transcript, I want to offer a few more observations. * Trump’s tone was a refreshing change of pace from the Obama administration. Trump issued no apologies, and he didn’t bow to Islam rhetorically any more than he did in person to Saudi Arabia’s king. * Trump referred obliquely to the tension in American »

Trump in Riyadh: Speaking of reset

Featured image President Trump just concluded his speech to the assembled leaders of 50 Muslim countries assembled to hear him in Riyadh. The ever popular New York Times quotes a bit from the speech in the course of reporting and opining on it in the story by Peter Baker and Michael Shear. I can’t find either a transcript or video yet. Here I would like briefly to offer a few preliminary impressions »