Trump Fails at Foreign Policy With The New York Times

It’s a tradition for The New York Times to have a 1-on-1 interview with a presidential candidate to dig deep into their foreign policy positions so the public can come away with a better understanding. This usually happens much later in the race but this year however is not usual as the front-runner for the Republican candidacy for the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has little-to-none public foreign policy positions. So the Times reached out to Trump to get some info out of him and what we got was a rambling mess and some really bad ideas.

Some highlights of the conversation include:

  • Trump would use nuclear weapons in the fight against ISIS.
  • Trump had no idea who the head of China is.
  • He is willing to pull troops from Japan and South Korea.
  • He believes it is okay for Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons.
  • He is totally cool with Saudi Arabia collapsing if they don’t join the fight with ISIS.

Reality

Stop The Donald Trump is reading the transcript of the conversation and working on an analysis, which will be coming soon.

If you don’t have an opportunity to read the transcript allow us to sum up the conversation: Trump is asked a direct question, he rambles about nothing for 200 words, then The Times reporter asks if he can please answer the question, repeat.

 

Trump got many details just plain wrong. For example:

Trump had no idea who the head of China is.

That would be President Xi Jinping

 

Some of the ideas that Trump put forward are just outright stupid and dangerous. For example:

He is willing to pull troops from Japan and South Korea.

And then what? China and North Korea become stronger which would destabilize Asia.

He believes it is okay for Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons.

And then what? Now we have an arms race in Asia, exactly what we’ve been trying to avoid for the past 50 years.

He is totally cool with Saudi Arabia collapsing if they don’t join the fight with ISIS.

And then what? With no Saudi Arabia to balance the region, Iran becomes stronger.

Links

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/us/politics/donald-trump-transcript.html

After Terror Attack in Brussels, Trump Insults Then Calls For Torture

Asked by the Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo about the feasibility of his proposal to bar foreign Muslims from entering the United States, Mr. Trump argued that Belgium and France had been blighted by the failure of Muslims in these countries to integrate.

“There is something going on, Maria,” he said. “Go to Brussels. Go to Paris. Go to different places. There is something going on and it’s not good, where they want Shariah law, where they want this, where they want things that — you know, there has to be some assimilation. There is no assimilation. There is something bad going on.”

Warming to his theme, he added that Brussels was in a particularly dire state.

“You go to Brussels — I was in Brussels a long time ago, 20 years ago, so beautiful, everything is so beautiful — it’s like living in a hellhole right now,”

Trump went on to promote war crimes as a reasonable response.

“Frankly, the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or had the laws, waterboarding would be fine,” Trump said. “If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people.” He continued, “I am in the camp where you have to get the information and you have to get it rapidly.”

Reality

Torture is illegal, unethical, and simply does not work. When a subject is in pain, people will say anything to get the pain to stop. Most of the time, they will lie, make up anything to make you stop hurting them. That means the information provided during the time of torture is useless. It is irresponsible to forget the lessons we learned during the war against terror for Donald Trump to suggest a war crime.

Furthermore Trump’s hellhole comment was tasteless during a time of mourning and should highlight his repeated failures at foreign policy. His comments about the city inspired quite a backlash on social media, with Brussels denizens using the hashtag #hellhole, to defend their city.

Media

Links

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/world/europe/trump-finds-new-city-to-insult-brussels.html?_r=0

http://www.today.com/news/donald-trump-responds-brussels-attacks-it-s-very-dangerous-city-t81716

Trump Questions Need For NATO

Donald Trump said the U.S. should rethink its involvement in NATO because the defense alliance costs too much money.

In remarks to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Trump said the U.S. pays a disproportionate amount to NATO to ensure the security of allies.

“Frankly, they have to put up more money,” he said. “We are paying disproportionately. It’s too much, and frankly it’s a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea.”

In a CNN Town Hall Trump said about NATO:

“[NATO is] costing us too much money, and frankly, have to put up more money… We’re taking care of, as an example, the Ukraine. I mean, the countries over there don’t seem to be so interested. We’re the ones taking the brunt of it. So I think we have to reconsider — keep NATO, but maybe we have to pay a lot less toward the NATO itself. “

Reality

Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and Washington is not providing arms to the government as it is fighting pro-Moscow rebels, though has provided nonlethal aid and has helped support international bailouts of the Ukrainian economy. Once the third-largest nuclear power in the world, Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear weapons in return for an assurance that the U.S. would help protect its sovereignty. Critics point out that Trump’s remarks were “really quite astonishing,” speculating that Trump is ignorant of the United States’ diplomatic relations with Ukraine.

It’s unfortunate that a day after making these remarks a terrorist attack occurred in Brussels, highlighting the importance of NATO.

It is important to point out that the United States “taking the brunt” as Mr. Trump has suggested, is a bit of loaded statement. All member countries have pledged at lest 2% of their GDP to fund NATO, and the United States has by far and away the highest GDP of all member nations, in-fact 6 times more than Germany who has the next highest GDP of the NATO members. The whole theory of NATO is to keep the United States involved in Europe long-term, to promote our goals, and to deter another world war, so of course we would be spending more. However it is fair to point out that President Obama has been critical of some of the European partners for not spending enough to fund NATO.

Links

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/21/politics/elections-2016-final-five-highlights/index.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-hopelessly-naive-dead-wrong-on-nato-gop-candidates-say/

Trump Consults Himself On Foreign Policy, ‘Because I Have a Very Good Brain’

Donald Trump finally shared the name of someone he consults on foreign policy: himself. Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” who he talks with consistently about foreign policy, Trump responded:

“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

“I know what I’m doing and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are,” Trump said. “But my primary consultant is myself and I have a good instinct for this stuff.”

The New York real estate mogul has kept mum on his foreign policy team, despite promising in early February to release a list of his advisers in “about two weeks.”

Trump was also asked on Wednesday morning if his foreign policy was “neoisolationist,” to which he responded “I wouldn’t say that at all.”

Reality

As evidence, Trump claimed he had predicted the rise of Osama bin Laden, a statement which was a total absolute lie.

Media

Links

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/17/donald-trump-i-consult-myself-on-foreign-policy-be/

http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/03/trump-foreign-policy-adviser-220853

Trump on Waterboarding: ‘Torture Works’

During a campaign event at the Sun City retirement community, Donald Trump said that he supports waterboarding and similar interrogation techniques because “torture works” in the questioning of terrorists.

Trump was responding to a question from South Carolina state Rep. Bill Herbkersman (R), who asked the candidate a series of questions in a fireside-chat-style event that lasted 33 minutes.

“On that whole thing of politically correct, would you allow U.S. interrogators to waterboard terrorist prisoners in order to extract information?” Herbkersman asked Trump.

“Absolutely,” Trump said to strong applause from the audience of about 500 retirees, who often laughed as Trump discussed enhanced interrogation techniques.  Trump emphasized his intention to reinstate waterboarding and techniques that are “so much worse” and “much stronger.”

“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works,” Trump said. “Okay, folks? Torture — you know, half these guys [say]: ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works. Okay?”

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

Torture is illegal, unethical, and simply does not work. When a subject is in pain, people will say anything to get the pain to stop. Most of the time, they will lie, make up anything to make you stop hurting them. That means the information provided during the time of torture is useless. It is irresponsible to forget the lessons we learned during the war against terror for Donald Trump to suggest a war crime.

Media

 

Trump on North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un: ‘You Gotta Give Him Credit’

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump appeared to praise North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying at a rally Saturday that “it’s incredible” how he was able to dispatch his political opponents.

Trump called Jong-Un a “maniac” during remarks about North Korea’s nuclear program during a rally at Ottumwa, Iowa, but conceded, “You gotta give him credit.”

“How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden … he goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss,” Trump said. “It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. I mean this guy doesn’t play games. And we can’t play games with him.”

Last week North Korea announced it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb after an earthquake was detected near previous test sites, though the White House quickly disputed the claim. North Korea released an image of Jong-un personally authorizing the test.

The next morning Trump said that North Korea was under the “total control” of China.

Yesterday’s remarks were not the first time Trump has been complimentary of an antagonist of the U.S. The real estate mogul has previously drawn criticism for accepting praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it a “great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”

(h/t ABC News)

Reality

This isn’t the first time Donald Trump praised authoritarian leaders while calling the democratically elected officials in Congress and the White House “weak.”

  • After receiving praise from Vladimir Putin, Trump showed lots of love for the authoritarian Russian President in return saying he’ll get along fine with him.
  • In the midst of a brutal civil war where authoritarian Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, Trump was kind enough to give Bashar a grade of ‘A’ for leadership.
  • During the CNN-Telemundo Republican candidates’ debate in February that while Gaddafi was “really bad,” his tactics were effective and we would be so much better off if Gaddafi were in charge.
  • And Trump has a history of praising Saddam Hussein in interviews and at rallies.

Gadhafi, Hussein, Bashar, Un, and Putin all have committed atrocities against their own people and were among the world’s worst human rights abusers.

Media

Trump Proposes Killing Terrorist Families

In an interview on Fox & Friends the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that he’d like to “take out” the families of terrorists.

“I would knock the hell out of ISIS… [and] when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. I say ISIS is our number one threat, we have a president who doesn’t know what he is doing and all he’s worried about is climate change, he thinks climate change is something that’s going to go kill us.”

Reality

All four Geneva Conventions from 1949 contain “Common Article 3,” which applies to “armed conflict not of an international character.” What does that mean? The U.S. Supreme Court, in the 2006 case Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld, ruled that “armed conflict not of an international character” means a war that is not fought against a sovereign state. (A sovereign state simply means a country with a recognized government.) Since groups like ISIS are not considered sovereign states, that means that Common Article 3 applies to the current war on terrorism.

According to Common Article 3, people who are taking no active part in the hostilities “shall in all circumstances be treated humanely… To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever … violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.”

Experts said this language would make Trump’s approach a violation of the Geneva Conventions, assuming that the family members were not taking part in terrorist activities.

Media

Links

http://time.com/4132368/donald-trump-isis-bombing/

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/dec/17/rand-paul/rand-pauls-right-geneva-conventions-bar-donald-tru/

Trump Would Approve Waterboarding in a Heartbeat

Trump approves waterboarding in Columbus, OH

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he not only would bring back waterboarding, the controversial interrogation technique discontinued by the Obama administration, but also would “approve more than that,” even if such tactics prove ineffective.

“Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would — in a heartbeat.”

Trump said to loud cheers during a rally at a convention center here Monday night that attracted thousands.

“And I would approve more than that. Don’t kid yourself, folks. It works, okay? It works. Only a stupid person would say it doesn’t work.”

Trump said such techniques are needed to confront terrorists who “chop off our young people’s heads” and “build these iron cages, and they’ll put 20 people in them and they drop them in the ocean for 15 minutes and pull them up 15 minutes later.”

“It works,” Trump said over and over again. “Believe me, it works. And you know what? If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing. It works.”

Reality

Torture is illegal, unethical, and simply does not work. When a subject is in pain, people will say anything to get the pain to stop. Most of the time, they will lie, make up anything to make you stop hurting them. That means the information provided during the time of torture is useless. It is irresponsible to forget the lessons we learned during the war against terror for Donald Trump to suggest a war crime.

Media

Links

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/11/23/donald-trump-on-waterboarding-if-it-doesnt-work-they-deserve-it-anyway/

Trump Says He Would Bring Back Waterboarding

Donald Trump would “absolutely” bring back waterboarding as an accepted form of interrogation, he said today on ABC’s “This Week.”

Trump characterized waterboarding as a form of “strong interrogation” that is “peanuts” when compared to tactics used by ISIS against its hostages.

“I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “What they’re doing to us, what they did to James Foley when they chopped off his head, that’s a whole different level and I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation.”

Trump also said he does not want to close any mosques in the United States but he does want to put them under surveillance. He previously said it may be necessary to close some mosques if it is determined “bad things are happening” in them.

When asked if he wants blanket surveillance across all the nation’s mosques, Trump said “strong measures” are necessary.

“The people that are involved in those mosques, they know who the bad ones are and they know who the good ones are, but they don’t talk,” he said. “We have to surveil the mosques.”

Trump also said those on terror watch lists should be restricted from purchasing guns if they are a known “enemy of state.” Currently, someone one a terror watch list can legally purchase a gun in the U.S.

“If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely,” Trump said, while emphasizing that he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

“If we have an enemy of state, I don’t want to give him anything,” Trump said. “I want to have him in jail — that’s what I want. I want to have him in jail.”

Reality

Torture is illegal, unethical, and simply does not work. When a subject is in pain, people will say anything to get the pain to stop. Most of the time, they will lie, make up anything to make you stop hurting them. That means the information provided during the time of torture is useless. It is irresponsible to forget the lessons we learned during the war against terror for Donald Trump to suggest a war crime.

Media

http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/donald-trump-bring-back-waterboarding-35357550

Links

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-bring-back-waterboarding/story?id=35354443

Trump Claims US Taking in 250,000 Refugees

Trump again pounded the fear drum and lied about the number of refugees the United States is accepting from war-torn Syria.

Our president wants to take in 250,000 from Syria. I mean, think of it. 250,000 people. And we all have heart. And we all want people taken care of and all of that. But with the problems our country has, to take in 250,000 people — some of whom are going to have problems, big problems.

Reality

Taking in refugees escaping war is one of the single best things a humanitarian or Christian can do.

A 200,000 figure is an announcement in September by Secretary of State John Kerry that the United States was prepared to boost the number of total refugees accepted from around the world in fiscal 2016, from 70,000 to 85,000. Then, in 2017, Kerry said that 100,000 would be accepted.

That adds up to 185,000 over two years. But this would be the total number of refugees, not the number of refugees from Syria. As for Syria, Obama has only directed the United States to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year.

Links

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/11/18/repeat-after-me-obama-is-not-admitting-100000-200000-or-250000-syrian-refugees/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/09/10/president-obama-directs-administration-to-accept-at-least-10000-syrian-refugees-in-the-next-fiscal-year/

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