From Gary L. Bauer
I was furious this morning after I finished reading my copy of today’s Pyongyang Post, I mean the Washington Post. It is hard to tell the difference. The left-wing media’s hyper-critical coverage of President Trump is matched only by the propaganda coming from North Korea’s state-run media.
Here’s the front page headline: “A Lack Of Coordination On North Korea.” The Post was fretting that Trump’s “fire and fury” threat had not been “formally vetted.” Other articles suggested that the Administration was divided and was sending mixed messages.
Donald Trump is president of the United States. With whom exactly is he supposed to “formally vet” his own statements? And senior military aides today all said that the president is sending the right message.
Yet in multiple articles in that paper and in hundreds of commentaries all over America, there is one theme and it will have one effect. While America may be on the brink of a significant war with North Korea, left-wing media outlets are doing everything they can to weaken the commander-in-chief.
The theme of all these stories is that the president is “impulsive” and out-of-control, that he is not consulting experts, and is saying and doing things that will make war inevitable. This analysis is utter nonsense.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
The President’s Statement
President Trump warned North Korea that if it attacked our allies or us, the response would be devastating. In doing so, he simply reiterated American military doctrine. If we are attacked, the response will be devastating. If an ally is attacked, it is taken as an attack on us and the response will be devastating.
Was the president supposed to ring up Secretary Tillerson and ask, “Am I allowed to say we will fight back if attacked?” Should he have called the editors of the Washington Post to get them to “vet” his statement first?
That’s not how leadership works. I understand the Washington Post did not get the leadership it wanted on November 8th. But if “President Hillary” had threatened Kim Jong-un with “fire and fury,” the Post would be praising her as the “American Iron Lady.”
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is only about “impulsive” rhetoric. This is all about the media’s obsession with destroying Trump, even while we are in a battle of wills with North Korea.
Consider this: In May, President Trump went to several different venues in Europe. During his trip, Trump declined to say that he was totally committed to Article V of the NATO treaty, which commits each nation to the mutual defense of all nations in the alliance. The New York Times declared: “President Trump Fails NATO.”
In other words, the same columnists and commentators who roundly condemned the president in May for not pledging himself to Europe’s defense are condemning him now for pledging himself to Asia’s defense. No matter what President Trump says, the same entities will attack him.
Another article in today’s Washington Post was totally predictable. It is a big piece quoting such luminaries as Ben Rhodes, the Obama official in charge of lying to us about the Iran nuclear deal, and other foreign policy “experts” on everything President Trump is doing wrong.
Rhodes told the Post that he and Obama warned Trump after the election that there was a real threat from North Korea. If that was in fact what they did say to President-elect Trump, there was a way to say it more accurately, and it would go something like this:
“Donald, I just want to let you know that for the last eight years, we didn’t do anything about North Korea. And, by the way, we didn’t spend much money on missile defense for our homeland either. So, you’re going to have a big crisis after you take the Oath of Office.”
Other foreign policy experts expressed their frustration that Trump’s approach was not expected, that he is “a departure from the temperate, consistent and balanced” approaches of the past. But those approaches have failed specifically because they were “temperate” and North Korea did not fear U.S. action.
Former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson is also getting a lot of attention recently. He suggested on CNBC this week that President Trump could learn from Bill Clinton’s diplomacy so that the worst doesn’t happen.
But the worst did happen. The purpose of all those negotiations was to prevent North Korea from having nuclear weapons that it could deliver to the U.S. homeland or our allies. Yet they are now on the brink of having exactly that because of those failed negotiations.
When it came to North Korea, President Clinton, President Bush and President Obama always “vetted” their statements and “coordinated” their inaction. They never said anything that seriously worried Pyongyang’s tyrants.
The fact that this president isn’t playing their game is what so offends Washington’s elites. Well, we didn’t elect a politician to continue “business as usual” or to pursue the failed policies of the past.
As the news continues to unfold, keep this mind: Everything the critics are saying is not only demonstrably false, it is making war with North Korea more likely. Everything Trump is saying that has critics so upset is true and will make war less likely.
Diplomacy Or War — A False Choice
Diplomacy without a credible military threat is worthless. President Trump got the U.N. to impose the toughest sanctions ever on North Korea. That diplomatic victory was accomplished because China, Russia and others concluded, “Trump is willing to go to war if we don’t come up with a way to stop the North Korean nuclear program.”
No aggressor will back down or make significant concessions unless they are convinced that the alternative is their possible destruction. Kim Jong-un must understand that this president is different. “All options” really are on the table.
Whether they realize it or not, every editorial attacking the Trump Administration’s policy of strength, and every preening politician droning on about diplomacy, undermines the president and increases the chances that Kim will assume we are too divided to act decisively. That miscalculation could lead the Stalinist dictator to do something for which there will be no alternative but to unleash fire and fury.