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It’s Good To ‘Rattle’ Allies ‘In A Friendly Way,’ Trump Says Following Nomination Victory

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It’s Good To ‘Rattle’ Allies ‘In A Friendly Way,’ Trump Says Following Nomination Victory

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Donald Trump’s plan for the world stage? Terrify America’s allies into respecting us again.

“Many of the countries in our world have been absolutely abusing us and taking advantage of us,” he said during a press conference in Bismarck, North Dakota on Thursday. “If they’re rattled in a friendly way, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.” Trump’s remarks were in response to comments made by President Obama during the G7 summit in Japan, that world leaders were “rattled” by Trump’s rhetoric.

“They’re rattled by him and for good reason,” Obama said during a press conference at the summit. “Because a lot of the proposals that he’s made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what is required to keep America safe.”

The newly-crowned Republican presidential nominee’s contradictory foreign policy platform has consisted of reversing the postwar world order, promoting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and starting a trade war with China in order to somehow balance out America’s trade deficit.

Of America’s allies, many of whom are members of NATO, Trump said during his foreign policy speech last month at the Center for the National Interest, “The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense – and, if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves.” It’s understandable that countries like Germany, Japan, South Korea, and many others would feel threatened by his rhetoric: Their postwar economic strength rested in large part upon a guarantee of security by the United States.

Trump simultaneously agreed and disagreed with the idea that South Korea, Japan, and even Saudi Arabia should by allowed build nuclear weapons during an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper:

TRUMP: At some point we have to say, you know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself, we have…

COOPER:  Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?

TRUMP:  Saudi Arabia, absolutely.

COOPER:  You would be fine with them having nuclear weapons?

TRUMP:  No, not nuclear weapons, but they have to protect themselves or they have to pay us.

Here’s the thing, with Japan, they have to pay us or we have to let them protect themselves.

COOPER:  So if you said, Japan, yes, it’s fine, you get nuclear weapons, South Korea, you as well, and Saudi Arabia says we want them, too?

TRUMP:  Can I be honest with you?  It’s going to happen, anyway.  It’s going to happen anyway.  It’s only a question of time.  They’re going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely. But you have so many countries already, China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia, you have so many countries right now that have them.

Now, wouldn’t you rather in a certain sense have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons? And they do have them. They absolutely have them. They can’t — they have no carrier system yet but they will very soon. Wouldn’t you rather have Japan, perhaps, they’re over there, they’re very close, they’re very fearful of North Korea, and we’re supposed to protect.

Trump’s avoiding the question at hand — he switches to discussing Japan when asked about Saudi Arabia — is one piece in a mountain of evidence that he hasn’t seriously considered the realities constraining his worldview, nor discussed shortcomings in his diplomatic or historical knowledge with any experts.

The same appears to be the case with Trump’s oft-repeated line that he will make China pay for stealing American jobs by instituting a 45 percent tariff on all Chinese goods entering the country. “I don’t mind trade wars when we’re losing $58 billion a year,” said Trump, even though having a trade deficit isn’t an inherently bad thing, as all countries have trade surpluses with certain trading partners and deficits with others. While only rough predictions are available on the consequences of a large-scale trade war, the consensus among economists is that the U.S. would fail to generate millions of jobs and would face reduced economic activity, if not an outright recession.

There’s nothing “friendly” about threatening key trading partners and allies.

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6 Comments

  1. TZToronto May 26, 2016

    Nuclear weapons in Japan is, at present, a non-starter. Allowing countries in the Middle East (other than Israel, which is well aware of the consequences of using a nuclear weapons and would use one only in the case of impending destruction) to obtain nuclear weapons would mean the beginning of the end for civilization. The idea of a trade war with China to try to bring jobs back to America is ignorant. As Springsteen sang, “These jobs are goin’, boys, and they ain’t comin’ back.” Establishing high tariffs to make Chinese (and other foreign-produced goods) less attractive to Americans would have one effect–to raise prices and fuelling inflation in America while not bringing manufacturing back to the US. America’s manufacturing base has been damaged, perhaps beyond redemption, thanks to corporate and shareholder greed. The sad thing is that there are many Trumpidians who don’t have the critical ability to realize that most of what Trump wants to do is either not possible or a very, very bad idea.

    Reply
  2. FireBaron May 27, 2016

    Protectionism leads to higher tariffs against US Products overseas. Unilateral claims of withdrawal sends shivers up and down the spines of Finance and Defense ministers of countries where our troops are stationed. And this mook thinks Vladimir Vladimirovich, Tsar of All Russias, is a role model for good governance!

    Reply
  3. johninPCFL May 27, 2016

    The only cool thing about a trade war with China would be the bankruptcy of Walmart and the backlash from the toothless droolers in the redstates.

    Reply
  4. Grannysmovin May 27, 2016

    Trump said: “The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense – and, if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves.” Is he planning on turning our military into Mercenaries for Hire?

    Reply
    1. ralphkr May 28, 2016

      Well, Granny, it appears that we are already using mercenaries to protect our military. I am sure you remember those photos of the commanding officer during Desert Storm moving through US military base surrounded by civilian body guards and then there are all those civilians hired to guard facilities or vehicles (being paid as much per day as an American military soldier makes in a month). It makes me wonder why anyone stays in the service when he can get a discharge and go to work for one of the civilian security companies for far more pay.

      Reply
  5. Siegfried Heydrich May 27, 2016

    The really, really scary thing about Drumpf is that he’s far too clueless and ignorant to be even remotely aware of just how clueless and abysmally ignorant he truly is.

    Reply

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