Among the most common criticisms of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy used to be that he appeared prepared to satisfy foreign leaders “without preconditions.”
Whether Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean totalitarian Kim Jong-un, or Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the media insisted that Trump’s desire without prerequisites to meet was reckless. Numerous even suggested that he might not be trusted alone in a space with Putin. Congress desired his translator to affirm.
Naturally, the media were thrilled when then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) was asked if he would be “ready to fulfill independently, without precondition, throughout the very first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea,” and addressed in the affirmative. That was evidence of his commitment to diplomacy, rather than the supposed warmongering of then-President George W. Bush.
But Trump, in some way, was not to be relied on.
The distinction in between Trump and Obama is that in Trump’s case, he has actually been prepared to satisfy without preconditions after he has currently taken an aggressive military or economic step. He slapped sanctions on Russia, armed Ukraine, and attacked Russia’s ally, Syria; he approved North Korea and threatened Kim Jong-un with “fire and fury”; he enforced serious sanctions on Iran that are damaging its economy. In contrast, Obama abandoned missile defense versus Russia and declined to give Ukraine military help; did next to nothing about North Korea; and handed enormous quantities of money to Iran in exchange for a weak nuclear deal.
Nevertheless, they persisted: Trump’s willingness to fulfill without prerequisites was proof that he did not understand what he was doing– or, conversely, that he did, and was eager to give up to Putin, or to be swindled by Kim.
All of a sudden, nevertheless, when Trump presumably enforced the mildest of prerequisites on Ukraine for a White Home check out– examinations of past election disturbance and particular cases of corruption– the media and the Democrats called it an impeachable offense. (It is not even clear there were prerequisites for a conference. Ambassador Gordon Sondland affirmed that they were; previous Amb. Kurt Volker, a more reliable witness, testified that they were not.)
In this case– as every single witness in the impeachment query testified, without exception– President Trump has actually been a better pal to Ukraine than his predecessor, who would not send out the military aid Trump provided.
And in the end, he accepted meet the Ukrainian president in Warsaw and New York, without preconditions.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He made an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Law from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Scoop of a Revolution, which is readily available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak