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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

He’s Ba-a-a-ack: Wolfowitz, Trump-Whisperer

Now that former isolationist Trump has flipp-flopped into budding neo-con Trump, he is starting to attract the counsel of some of the political wizards who brought us the six-trillion dollar debacle interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, reports Heather Digby Parton at salon.com. As Parton writes:

It was entirely predictable that as soon as President Donald Trump decided to drop some bombs on a Middle Eastern country, the neoconservative claque that had rejected him during the election would slither back into the GOP orbit…Despite the obvious fact that Donald Trump is a torture-loving, “bomb the shit out of ’em” and “take the oil” kind of guy, his opportunistic distancing of himself from the Iraq War (despite evidence that he actually supported it) gave many people the impression that he wouldn’t support military intervention. That included members of the neocon establishment, who were leery of him. But now they’re back in the public eye, and one of the main architects of the Iraq War is once again making his presence known. According to Susan Glasser of Politico, Wolfowitz can take some credit for the action. In an interview with him she said:

Paul, you’ve jumped back into the fray as it were with what appears in hindsight to be an extremely well-timed intervention in the Wall Street Journal, saying Donald Trump should go ahead and do something in Syria, should intervene militarily in some way to respond to the chemical weapons strike. Miraculously enough, perhaps, he surprised much of the world by going ahead and taking your advice and doing so.

Parton adds that “Wolfowitz modestly replied that he’s not sure Trump took his advice but he’s awfully glad he did bomb Syria because the U.S. is back in business…” However, notes Parton, “The scariest part of the interview…involved Wolfowitz’s views on Iraq. He seems eager to get right back into the quagmire and stay there… Wolfowitz recalled the period after the Iraq “surge” with great nostalgia as a sort of golden era:

[W]e do have a model there. I think it’s a model that worked dramatically…the alternative is to let a very important, critical part of the world go to hell literally and lose American influence.”

Given Trump’s tendency to reverse policies with no qualms whatsover about appearing dangerously inconsistent, poorly-informed and trigger-happy, there is no way for Democrats to anticipate his next move, particularly as he surrounds himself with right-wing extremists of al sorts. The only constants in Trump’s foreign policy appear to be chaos, confusion and disarray, and Democrats have to be ever-ready to respond with reason, prudence and consistency.

As if Trump’s Mid East polcies weren’t chaotic and dangerous enough, he has attacked and confused many of our strongest allies, and added nuclear weapons brinksmanship with North Korea into the mix. There are good reasons for moderates, as well as progressives, to be concerned when two world “leaders” with the emotional maturity of nine year-olds are threatening each other with real weapons of mass destruction.

What Democrats must do as Trump’s foreign policy follies roll on, is provide a clear demonstration that they are the adults in the room, the ones who can actually resolve crises without making a horrific global mess. The hope is that enough moderate Republicans will eventually realize that America — and the world — have too much to lose by allowing this confusion to continue, and join in taking action to help restore a some sobriety to our foreign policy.

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