The Trump Doctrine: On Zig-Zagging, Keeping Hands Off Our People, and America First - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Trump Doctrine: On Zig-Zagging, Keeping Hands Off Our People, and America First

These past three days, the Left Democrats and their Corrupt Journalist Corps have given voice to a zillion reasons to attack President Trump’s decision to OK the whack on Qassem Soleimani, the arch-terrorist arch–mass murderer. A key criticism has been that the president has no discernible foreign policy, that he just has no idea what he is doing, why, or what the consequences will be.

For three years we have heard from the same crevices the same exact criticism of his approach to the economy. His approach to energy expansion. His approach to trade with China. His approach to NATO. His approach to illegal immigration.

If there were any real truth to that calumny, a sensible response would be “Gimme more! Please — More no idea of what he is doing! More no idea of why! More no idea of consequences! I love it!” For a guy who has no idea what he is doing, no idea why, no idea of consequences — just an unguided bull in a china-tariff shop — he ain’t bad. Would that all our presidents could be this utterly clueless!

The economy has been amazing since Trump walked in the door and swept Obama out with the morning trash. Even if the president never actualizes all of his NATO objectives or all of his China-trade-showdown aspirations, history will record that he accomplished more on those fronts than did any other president since China became communist and since NATO was created. On the one side of history’s ledger: Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan (yes, Reagan), Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama. On the other side — Trump. Indeed, Obama said that Trump’s economic goals were unattainable, so impossible and foolish even to opine that they would require a magic wand. And yet Trump realized his economic promises, while Obama now paddle-boards shirtless, flopping in the water and on land, incapable of grasping how Trump has done it, with the Obamas satisfied to know that at least they became multimillionaires on our dime. Likewise, under Obama we still relied desperately on Saudi oil. Even on sunny days in California, Solyndra could not produce enough energy to power a two-watt night light. All the windmills in New Mexico could not do it either, even if every American would agree to sneeze at the same time.

And now to foreign policy, as we evaluate the Trump Doctrine in the shadow of the enormous attainments of his predecessor, regretted Nobel Peace Prize-winner Obama. The man who kept the peace while Putin took the Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Who kept the peace while ISIS grew from a “junior varsity” to a caliphate. Who kept the peace while China expanded into man-made islands in the Pacific, while the Castro brothers extended their death-grip dictatorship over Cuba, while Hugo Chavez suffocated and enslaved Venezuela and warmly endorsed Obama for reelection. Trump faced a tough act to follow. It may well be that Trump has absolutely no idea what he is doing. Could be. But maybe, just maybe, an actual doctrine is emerging.

I imagine the President might describe that unfolding coherent doctrine in his own words something like this: 

“I want American boys back home. I want our ground troops out of all the foreign entanglements that have cost us trillions with no discernible results. I don’t care what the experts and smart people say, because the one and only thing that history teaches is that America’s experts and smart people are morons. The Bay of Pigs. They were the last ones to find out about 9/11. They misread Afghanistan. The experts and smart people blew it on the Iranian revolution. The fall of the Soviet Union. They advised that China would be a fair player in trade in the World Trade Organization. They told us that ‘The Arab Spring’ marked a breakthrough that would see Western-style democracies emerge all over the Arab Muslim world. They told us that the West Europeans in NATO never would increase their payments. They told us that a World War and an Armageddon would erupt in the Mideast if we recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved our embassy there from Tel Aviv. They took a beautiful eternal war between Iraq and Iran that killed half a million warriors on both sides over eight years, with no end in sight, and managed to unite them against us while we spent trillions to make it happen. Who was the idiot who had the bright idea that there beats in the heart of every Iraqi a burning desire to adopt the Bill of Rights? Where did that come from? What expert decided that regime change in Baghdad would create a liberal democracy? The only part of the whole Bill of Rights that they ever wanted was a variation on our Second Amendment: the right to bear rocket-propelled grenades. So we sent brave boys to liberate them from one tyrant so that they could veer towards another? They yearn for free speech, for a free press? They yearn for habeas corpus?  They yearn for freedom of religion? They yearn for eminent domain? They yearn for a Griswold penumbra derived from emanations of rights? Who came up with this beaut — Clapper? Brennan? Comey? Or was this another doozy from the Bush–McCain–Romney wing of the Democrat Party?

“So I want American boys back home. I want us out of these places. To the degree that we have alliances — frankly, I don’t trust the friendship of almost the whole damn lot of them. Saudi Arabia is our friend? Gimme a break. As long as they face obliteration from Iran, they are our friend. And on other days, they impose crippling oil boycotts against us or educate their kids to grow up and take down our Twin Towers. Or Germany is our friend? So how come they are building a pipeline to Putin’s Russia to buy energy from him, which bolsters his pathetic economy and finances his ability to arm Iran, Syria, and our other enemies? And don’t tell me that the Kurds are our friends. Sure they are — now, while they face destruction from our enemies. So, other than maybe England, Canada, Australia, and Israel, don’t talk to me about ‘friends’ — because we cannot count on them in the United Nations, cannot count on them on anything, even to join our sanctions on Iran.

“I have been in business — in the real world — all my life. Everyone is in this thing for themselves. When I made money for NBC, they loved me. Once I gave the show to the muscle guy, and he tanked it, they turned on me. So don’t tell me about loyalties other than family. If you don’t believe me, just look at Biden and Pelosi and Schumer. For every single damn thing they say against me today, they said the exact opposite 10 and 20 years ago when the president was Clinton and Obama. Then they were against open borders and illegal immigration. Then they opposed impeachment of a popularly elected president. Then they cheered taking down Bin Laden and targeting even American citizens in Yemen like Anwar al-Awlaki for drone assassination. Even an Obama-authorized drone attack that killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old son and friends while they were eating outdoors. Then they opposed FBI wiretapping of American citizens and the abrogation of personal privacy and rights. So don’t tell me about ‘friends.’ And don’t tell me about what they say.

“Here is the thing: Life is about shared interests. You want to make money, and I want to make money, so we make a deal. That’s how it works. At this particular moment we happen to have certain shared interests with Saudi Arabia and the Kurds. Iran wants to kill them and wipe them out, and they don’t want to be wiped out. So now they are our friends. OK, so we have given or sold them billions and billions of dollars’ worth of highly advanced weapons, and we have sent our people there to train them how to use them. We did not send them that stuff as Ramadan presents. The idea is that we gave them the wherewithal to protect themselves, and that is now on them. Use it or lose it. Iran bombed their oil wells? Not our problem — now that Obama is gone, we have more oil and natural gas than we can use, so we sell the stuff abroad. And when the courts finally let me have that Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota pipeline and all the other stuff in a small section of ANWR in Alaska — Who knows? Maybe we will be giving the oil away for free. So if Iran and their surrogates are going to take out Saudi oil fields, let the Saudis respond with all that advanced weaponry we sent them and reciprocate by taking out Iran’s oil fields. Make believe that every Iranian oil pump and derrick is another Khashoggi. But I am not going to send our boys to do Riyadh’s fighting for them. Let them take those thugs they are teaching in their elementary schools and madrassas with their anti-Christian and anti-American Wahhabi Islam, and let them redirect their focus from our World Trade Center and point them at Tehran.

“If the Kurds need weapons, OK. We have given them what Obama and Hillary and Kerry never did. Now let them go fight for themselves. I don’t want American boys on the ground in dirt holes around the world, dying for others. I want American boys home. America First. BUT … BUT … BUT …

“Let the word go forth, as clear as can be, that if anyone anywhere hits one of my men, one of my boys, then you have crossed a red line that I call ‘America First.’ Then all bets are off. If you launch a rocket at an American base and kill an American working for us, even a contractor not even in the military per se, then I will bomb a whole bunch of your installations and will kill 25 or more of your people working there if they have the bad luck to be there that day. And if you dare attack any single one of my embassies, then I will take out whoever came up with the idea. They won’t even be able to identify him by his dental records. OK, maybe I’ll leave a finger. So just keep your hands off America and Americans.

“And don’t get any crazy ideas that I am going to refrain from hitting back because a handful of misfits in the House — the Washington Gnats — are passing articles of impeachment. First of all, you in Iran have no idea how our system works. We have checks and balances — not just one Ayatollah rules all. So anything the Democrat House does means nothing at all unless the Senate agrees. The Democrats cannot accomplish a thing if they refuse to work reasonably with the Senate. So the impeachment is a joke. It is going nowhere. Secondly, don’t believe what your diplomats are telling you about the Washington Gnats passing some kind of ‘War Powers’ resolution to tie my hands. Under the rules of this country, the Constitution, I am the commander in chief. If I see a ticking time bomb like Soleimani, and if I have a two-minute window to take him out, I am not going to ask permission from Pelosi. Let her add another article of impeachment. Big deal — she won’t send it to the Senate anyway. And I am not going to consult first with Schiff so that he can leak it to a friend who can leak it to Iran. And I am not going to have a three-week floor debate in Congress while Soleimani goes around seizing our embassies all around the globe and watching TV each night to find out when and where we are going to whack him.

“Look, if that all sounds crazy and zig-zagging, well — good! If it makes you happy to think that I am nuts, out of control, liable to do insane things — good! Go ahead and think that. Think that I do not know what I am doing, or why. Or what the consequences are. That’s OK. Convince yourselves that I am not as smart as Obama, who — for all we know — got into Columbia on affirmative action, or that I am not as smart as Kerry, who married a millionaire’s widow faster than you can ‘Swift Boat,’ or as smart as Hillary, who met her husband at Yale and even figured out how to move her email server to be near her toilet. I don’t care what you think. But just know this:

  1. If you hit our allies, I will load them with deadly counter weapons like the Javelins I gave Ukraine after Obama only would give them blankets and pillows. But I will not send our boys there. They will have to learn to be like the Israelis and fight their own battles.
  2. But if you hit an American target, I will hit you back 10 times as hard because I care about America First. And we are not Israel, OK? So the UN can pass resolutions against Israel all day — and those Jew-haters do — but let them just try passing a resolution against us. Let them just try. We are America, and our response will be as disproportionate as I feel like.
  3. And if you dare insult me personally by going after one of our embassies, daring to imply that I am the same kind of wuss that Jimmy Carter or Obama or John Kerry was, then it not only gets personal to my country that I love but to me also. I am not going to respond like Carter by boycotting Olympic games and thereby punishing American kids who devoted four years of their lives to excel, and I am not going to send some entertainer with a guitar to go and sing “You’ve Got A Friend.” Instead, in case you didn’t notice, I just got Congress these past two years to give me some two billion dollars to rebuild the American military that Obama allowed to decay. It is up and ready. I am going to use it, and I won’t even put boots on the ground if I can help it.
  4. And if none of that makes sense, and you cannot figure out what the heck my strategy or endgame is, good. Because that is my strategy and endgame.

“And that is my doctrine, if you want to call it that: America First. Keep your hands off my country and my people. And don’t tread on me.”

Dov Fischer
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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., is Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values (comprising over 2,000 Orthodox rabbis), was adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools for nearly 20 years, and is Rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review and clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before practicing complex civil litigation for a decade at three of America’s most prominent law firms: Jones Day, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. He likewise has held leadership roles in several national Jewish organizations, including Zionist Organization of America, Rabbinical Council of America, and regional boards of the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. His writings have appeared in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Federalist, National Review, the Jerusalem Post, and Israel Hayom. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit. Other writings are collected at
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