When the world becomes Trump’s little plaything …

For almost 70 years, Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty has been the cornerstone of American national security policy. It requires the United States and fellow members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — now numbering 28 — to come to each other’s mutual defense should any of them be attacked.

That provision helped to contain Soviet aggression through the Cold War years. It was invoked after our country was attacked on Sept. 11 and after ISIS struck at targets in France, and it remains critical today in warding off the territorial ambitions of Vladimir Putin and Russia.

No international commitment has been more important, and Donald Trump is now prepared to throw it all away.

In an interview with the New York Times Wednesday, Trump said that as president he might choose not to honor Article Five if Russian troops invaded NATO allies such as Estonia, Latvia and other European states. It would depend, he said, on whether he thought those countries had earned U.S. protection by keeping up their end of the bargain.

That’s an earth-shaking statement, with immense ramifications that Trump lacks the knowledge or curiosity to appreciate.¹

Imagine yourself today in Estonia, Latvia, Poland or other democracies emerging from decades of Soviet control. You’ve linked your fate to the West and the United States, counting on your NATO membership to save you from getting swallowed back up into the Russian maw, and now you’re told that the United States might — or might not — come to your aid when the crucial moment comes.

Are you now confident of American support? Or do you now look again at your proximity to Russia, at the size of your armed forces compared to those of Putin, and begin to think that maybe the Americans aren’t the stalwart friend that you thought they were, that maybe you should start being nicer to good old Vlad?

Part of this isn’t new. In earlier statements, Trump has lauded Putin (“I like him because he called me a genius. He said Trump is the real leader”) and said that he wanted to pursue the “easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia,” which sounds remarkably like the “reset button” that Republicans angrily condemn Hillary Clinton for attempting. In setting the 2016 Republican platform, Trump officials also insisted on the removal of a provision that called for shipping lethal arms to Ukraine, which is already trying to fight off Russian expansion.

In the Times interview, Trump called into question our commitment to Asia as well, suggesting a withdrawal even in the face of an expansionist China. “If we decide we have to defend the United States, we can always deploy” from American soil, Trump said, “and it will be a lot less expensive.”

And no, he said, as president he would not pressure Turkish leader Recep Erdogan to honor democratic values and the rule of law in his brutal crackdown on opposition that had nothing to do with the recent coup attempt. “When the world sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don’t think we are a very good messenger,” Trump explained.

Try to imagine the Republican outcry if Barack Obama had suggested abandoning our allies in the face of Russian invasion, or if he had said that the United States is such a bad role model that it lacks the standing to try to advance democratic values among its friends.

Just try. Yet at this very minute, those very same people are scrambling to figure out a way to spin this is as  an example of Trump’s unbelievable strength and wisdom.

——————–

¹Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, fresh off his denials that any plagiarism had occurred in Melania Trump’s speech, now claims that Trump was misquoted by the New York Times, and that the Times “does this a lot”. The problem is that the interview was taped, and as the transcript makes clear, Trump and his campaign knew it was being taped.

Reader Comments 0

2020 comments
Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

"Mr. Trump said the U.S. is “one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” He has said this before and it is still wrong.

Compared with other large industrialized nations, the U.S. is, in fact, a low-tax country."

- Wall Street Journal

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

That chant of "Yes you will" was the creepiest, most totalitarian part of the night, IMO.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"Just for fun, imagine that Obama had fathered five children with three different wives."


@Visual Cortex


Obama don't roll like that !


Too many diseases out there!


heeheeheeheeheeheeheee


Melania Trump, Marla Maples, Ivana Trump

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H02meAd4ick


Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

If you are a Trumpster who feels unsafe and ungreat, that sounds like a "you" problem.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

 All 4 of the Trump adult children hit homeruns during their speeches.

Just for fun, imagine that Obama had fathered five children with three different wives.

Or, imagine that Hils had borne five children from three different husbands.


Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Visual Cortex

Do I wish Jay were a bit more reliably progressive? Willing to call out the US' imperialism a bit more often? Sure, but he's gotta put food on his family and I think he picks his fights a bit more cautiously than I would.

-

Wow. Just wow.

So you're conceding that the terms of his employment preclude a robust defense of left principles? 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Donnie_Pinko 

Robust? No, a fairly cautious one.

And I'm sure it's not spelled out in any contract but, for example, when he backed off supporting (say) card check for union membership... well, let's just say his corporate overlords probably thought well of that. 

Don't want to go TOO far here.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

Seems as if Trump made a move to the center, even encroaching on the left some, while still throwing red meat to his base. That is what was said he needed to do in a general election. This morning some on the left appear to be more concerned in attempting to shame republicans who have long held tight in deep in far right policy. If to be followed up upon there is common ground and a possibility to get things done instead of political gridlock. This too should be welcomed by the left but again some do not seem interested in the common ground and concession of ideas.

honested
honested

@TetoLeo 

chump babbled for an hour and a half and essentially stated "there is a lot wrong and I have no plan to fix anything".

Please demonstrate anything to the contrary.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@TetoLeo 

Give "the left" some time to digest this.  It isn't yet clear what is going on. 

Is Trump really moving to the left? 

Can he bring the Republicans leftward with him? 

Will this tend to split the Republicans? 

Will trump renege on his leftward move,  winking at the base that he didn't mean it?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@TetoLeo Republican's have refused to move left and obstructed Obama on everything but it's OK now that the new resident is not Kenyan or a Muslim and a bigot that is also a bloviating idiot might be replacing President Obama.  You guys on the right are hilarious. Left is the new right for Republicans after all the hell the right has put this country through over the last seven years.  

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

Never claimed the speech was full of details it was more of ideals and vision. Trump is not a big details guy it seems. More of a vision and negotiating type, who seems to allow his people to work out the details that he then defends.

As I mentioned it appeared to show areas of common ground making way for things to actually get done and allowing government to work for the people. A long list of details only makes it more set in stone and thus gagging to be defended and held to. Ideas and vision leave lots of room for compromise.

Judging by your past post, is there anything that he could have possibly come out lay night and said that would have made you even consider voting for him, so I don't think he was really talking to you. Just as Hillary Clinton will not be making an attempt to court the racist red neck vote next week.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Nick_Danger @TetoLeo


If elected Trump would probably govern like a leftist. He would definitely be left of center on social issues like abortion, gay rights, etc. which wouldn't really bother me since the R party needs to move away from those losing issues anyway. 


But the thing about governmental power is that its hard to resist the urge to use the power of gubment to do things the way you think they ought to be done. And given Trump's ego he would be just the type to expand gubment even bigger because he thinks he knows how to solve everything- using gubment as a tool of course. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Doom Classical liberal @Nick_Danger @TetoLeo Exactly!!!  With that said he will lose a lot of staunch republican voters and there is no way that he will peel off enough votes from Hillary to replace the voters he will be losing.  True conservatives will not be voting for Donald Trump.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

True conservatives will vote for Donald Trump. In ways he is more Conservative than the pay few Republican candidates. He IS far less Republican than the last few candidates from the Republican party. A party that had allowed it's values to be prostituted by and to special interest groups. Those decisions forced them into adopting and defending positions that had nothing to do with Conservatism, and allowed for no room to compromise and flex.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

What does it matter who gets the credit or whose legacy is affected or given credit for whatever happens add long as what needs to get done gets done?

Do you care more about fighting old battles and who gets credit for what OR if America and it's government is doing what is right for its people?

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

-

First of all, it was never great. 

And secondly, you're not going to make it 'great' by sheer force of will of a charismatic leader. History shows where that road leads. 

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

I learned this AM that LGTB is now LGTBQ.
Possibly next is LGTBQGC.  (Gender Confused)

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@_GodlessHeathen_ 

Yes, some folks have been adding the "Q" of late.

I heard DT say it last night and just thought "I guess the Gay Stuff is more palatable to these folks in attendance if he says it in code."

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@_GodlessHeathen_ 

(Gender Confused)

To quote from Kinky Boots, the (wonderful, really) musical:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, and those yet to decide..."


Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@_GodlessHeathen_


I would like to think you are kidding. But given the propensity of the progs to develop new and ever expanding classes of victimhood this wouldn't surprise me in the least. 

td1234
td1234

We will make America Strong again

We will make America Safe again

We will make America win again


WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 I will be waiting for how he plans to pay for all of those promises in the debates.  One thing for sure he won't be self funding them.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Fine so if America isn't great,which country is greater? Are you going to deflect again?

honested
honested

@td1234 

Sorry you don't feel strong, safe or successful.

Maybe you made the wrong choices?

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 

What is it about America that you don't like, presently? 

What country is Stronger, Safer, or Greater than America, in you opinion?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@td1234 

I'll admit at first I thought this was a parody.

Could you be any more Hitlerian if you tried, td?

td1234
td1234

If you love slimy politicians and insiders telling you what to do then you are going to vote for Hillary. If you want higher taxes and more centralized government involved in your life then it is Clinton. If you like terrorist attacks and our police getting murdered in the streets then you vote for Hillary. 


If you want change and the country to go in a different direction of looking out for the working class and the middle class then it is clear you vote for Trump. If you want a real outsiders to shake up politics then you vote Trump. If you believe in law and order and defeating radical Islamic terrorist then you vote for Trump.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 Obama gave the same speech eight years ago promising that big government is going to save America.  Why didn't you vote for him?  You are a shameless opportunist just like Donald Trump.  It's a popularity contest for the both of you.

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser So Obama said he was going to stop radical Islam? Obama said he was going to support the police and not the thugs? Obama said he was going to protect the 2nd Amendment? Obama said he was going to cut regulations and cut taxes? 


What delusional world are you living in? 

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser @td1234 Because I knew Obama was lying to us. He is a politician and a progressive so that means he lies. 


He had his chance the first two years with super majorities in Congress and he made the nation worse not better. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser Same speech different person stop trolling. Professor td pull up Obama's speech and re-read Trump's.  If Obama is a liberal then so is Trump.  Oh wait, Trump is nothing he's just an opportunist looking for votes.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser It does not matter what was said the point is both outlined an agenda that require government intervention and lots of spending (big government).  Stop playing there is nothing stupid about me.  The devil is in the details as far as how Trump will be stopping radical Islam because so far he has not given any details on anything it's only been I (government) will.  Next, how is the second amendment in trouble? Obama left Bush's tax cuts in place, another lie. When you have to lie to make a point you have no point.  Professor