On foreign policy, the plaintive whine of the swamp
CNN has a long, pious, pompous, doleful piece out about how President Trump has diminished America's standing in the world, by its international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson.
File under Must Be Read To Be Believed.
When I last came to Washington in January days after Donald Trump's inauguration, the city was the epitome of pull power.
Theresa May had dashed over from London to be the first world leader to congratulate Trump face to face. They even held hands.
Now, 10 months later, despite May extending the Queen's offer of a State visit to the UK – the pomp and pageantry of which would no doubt delight Trump – he has not taken up the offer.
There is a chill on the "special relationship." Indeed, the 45th President is having a significant cooling effect on most of America's international relationships.
So let's get this straight here: Trump is being thrown the red carpet, he's playing hard to get, and somehow America is growing weaker and more diminished because of it?
That's what Robertson is arguing, incredibly enough, with that engine-starter anecdote above. And his conclusions are here [italics and boldface mine]:
One former career public servant told me that the country's global standing as a power for good is being undermined by the Trump White House.
Theresa May is not the only international leader to have discovered President Trump is in fact Candidate Trump and that he heads an America in retreat.
America's influence is thereby diminished.
Washington feels less international because of Trump's rhetoric and policies.
Memo to Nic: Global standing comes from power. When great nations are throwing out the red carpet as never seen before, not just the U.K. as his example above describes, but China, too, which feted President Trump in the Forbidden City for the first time for any U.S. president, instead of making a president exit out the back end of Air Force One, as the Chicoms did with President Obama, what we are seeing is greater U.S. power and influence, not less.
It's as if Robertson doesn't know how power works.
Yet we are seeing astonishing foreign policy success as never before. We see China cooperating on North Korea to an unprecedented extent. We are seeing ISIS shriveling into grease spots on the desert floor, and having recruiting problems. We are seeing the military freed to fight without one hand tied behind its back from the White House micromanagers. We are seeing Iran getting some real problems from Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia itself cleaning up its Wahhabist act, allowing female drivers and throwing corrupt princelings who likely funded al-Qaida under arrest.
These are amazing achievements in just one short year. Nations are awed and offering their finest red carpets, royal invitations, Forbidden Cities, and sword dances.
In the Middle East in particular, as Spengler (David P. Goldman) writes, Trump has had astonishing success, summing up the reality quite well with his opener.
President Trump's Middle East policy is simple: Back our friends and scare the hell out of our enemies, and negotiate where possible with our competitors like Russia and China. By and large it's working, unlike the catastrophically failed polices of the previous two administrations. Trump did what he said he would do and succeeded. You wouldn't know that from the #fakenews media.
Listen to Spengler, not the swamp things crying in their beer.