On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. He will certainly have a lot of scrubbing and cleaning to do, clearing out the carnage left by his predecessor.
The 44th president recently cast his lot with the European anti-Semitics and allowed an onerous UN Security Council resolution to pass, which condemned the tiny Jewish nation. Israel is surrounded by 22 Arabic nations, but a few square miles of Israeli land is intolerable. Hatred knows no bounds.
Nor do the opportunities to build up American enemies at every turn.
President Trump will be sworn in as Iran has reached its zenith in modern times. They have gained American technology and are proceeding with nuclear development thanks to the current American administration. The leading terrorist state in the world smells blood, and they will not fail to follow their murderous noses. Shy of a war which sees Iran’s destruction, the US will be feeling the effects of the loving eye Obama cast on Iran in the same way that we today can thank the bumbling Jimmy Carter for clearing the path for the Iranian rise.
Russia and Communist China both understood that the outgoing president was and is a complete wimp who took pride in such “tough” foreign policy declarations as, “knock it off.” These two nations responded accordingly, and our next president will be busy attempting to stymie their antics.
There are also friendships to repair, including with the United Kingdom, whom Obama repeatedly insulted. Australia saw fit to cut an economic deal with China because they saw the warning signs in our economy. The world drew lessons from how the administration quickly gave up on the budding Iraqi government - another sign of Obama weakness.
Ironically, the greatest amount of destruction caused by Mr. Trump’s predecessor was to the group he wished to help the most: much of the Arab world is in shambles, at least in part because of the so-called “Arab Spring.” In some countries, small, nascent movements pushing reform were crushed, while in others leaders were overthrown, allowing Wahhabi/Jihadi Muslims to fill the void. Egypt managed to survive only because the military remained strong and overthrew Obama’s favorite terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood (the parent organization of Hamas).
Libya, Syria, and Iraq are all products of Obama intervention. Now, we have people flooding Europe - and dreaming of coming to the United States - so that they can commit Obama Attacks, as did Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Ohio State University knife attacker.
The world had trouble spots before Obama; now it is at least as dangerous as ever - a hot mess with the US having sunk somewhat from its position of strength. The bad guys no longer fear us; the good guys no longer trust us. This is the world Donald Trump is about to inherit.
The conflict between Pakistan and India worsened during the tenure of our last weak president, Bill Clinton. That situation has again escalated and it will take brilliant minds to slow those two nations on their path to nuclear war.
Europe’s moral collapse has caught up to them, but they will benefit by the departure of the feckless US president.
All of this begs the questions: What should Mr. Trump do? Where should he start?
He must show strength, which thus far has not been a problem for him, given his comments directed toward Boeing, Lockheed, and the United Nations. If President Trump operates by way of “peace through strength,” minor players will quickly fall in line. It is what caused Muammar Qaddafi to remain docile once subdued, until incompetent operators in D.C. (read: Obama and H. Clinton) decided that an easy war was needed.
Friends must be treated as friends; enemies must be treated as enemies. The only democracy in the Middle East - Israel - should be recognized as the key ally in that dangerous, volatile part of the world.
Foreign policy is complex. Exhibit 1: Saudi Arabia. That does not mean that simple approaches are worthless. When the community organizer who was given the reins to the Executive Branch lacked the understanding, even after serving four years in the office, of which countries were significant threats to America (in the 2012 Romney debate regarding Russia), that was not a sign of foreign policy complexity, but rather of the officeholder’s incompetence combined with ideology. Donald Trump is not beholden to that same left wing ideology, and he shows no signs of such ineptitude.
Nevertheless, Trump will have to mop up the messes from that ideology. The world left by Obama is like a huge warehouse, where inventory has been knocked over, water has been left running, and the building is flooded. The foul odor of mold pervades throughout and rats have the run of the building. The night watchman has looked down from above and pronounced that all is well, but now the clean-up crew has to come in and spend a great amount of care to recover as much of the building and inventory as possible. The water, mold, and odors have to be swept and scrubbed away.
Some of those corners of the building are going to be tough to reach. We will never get all of the stench out. Let us pray that President Donald Trump can clean up most of what impacts American interests abroad.
Brian W. Peterson has been a columnist for a mid-size California newspaper, is a veteran of political campaigns, and was a member of the publicly elected Republican Central Committee of Los Angeles County. His psychological thriller Dead Dreams and sci-fi adventure Children of the Sun are currently available through Amazon.com. You can follow Brian on Twitter @cybrpete.
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