NATO is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. That just happens to be the center of the hive of Islamic radicals who shot up a Paris nightclub last November. Just when authorities caught Salah Abdelslam, a Belgian-born French national in Molenbeek, a Muslim-dominated enclave near Brussels, that triggers a round of terror killing (so far) 31 in attacks on the airport and metro stations.
ISIS takes credit for striking at the heart of NATO.
“What we feared has happened, we were hit by blind attacks,” said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
“We are at war,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday. “We have been subjected for the last few months in Europe to acts of war.”
In what was supposed to be a transitional meeting for Donald Trump, showing off his foreign policy chops, we got a foretaste of the bitter disaster that awaits should he ever become commander-in-chief.
Trump supporters say that Hillary will be terrible (and she would be!), with Benghazi blood on her hands, her top-secret flinging emporium of espionage treasures hosted on her private server in a Colorado bathroom, and a bevy of anti-Semitic advisers including Huma Abedin and Max Blumenthal. But Trump would potentially be worse.
“I do think it’s a different world today, and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore,” Trump said. “I think it’s proven not to work, and we have a different country than we did then. We have $19 trillion in debt. We’re sitting, probably, on a bubble. And it’s a bubble that if it breaks, it’s going to be very nasty. I just think we have to rebuild our country.”
So according to Trump, we’re going to build a big, beautiful wall. We’re going to build a military so strong that nobody would dare touch us (but we’re bluffing, right?). We’re going to make great deals and force everyone to do what we want. But publicly, Trump is saying how weak we are, sitting on a fragile bubble.
Trump praised George P. Shultz, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s top diplomat, and was harshly critical of current secretary of state John F. Kerry. He questioned the United States’ continued involvement in NATO and, on the subject of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, said America’s allies are “not doing anything.”
These are our allies. Not foreign countries to be manipulated in deals. The French, as much as they like to throw us under the bus at times, along with the Belgians, Germans, and (yes, I know France has been in and out of NATO more than Bill Clinton at a masseuse convention) other NATO members, rely on the United States to have their backs.
And Trump talks about how our allies don’t do enough. It’s just the right message to make them feel all warm and fuzzy while ISIS runs rampant in their streets. Yes, it’s their fault. Yes, they could have done a better job. Yes, they could have foreseen this. But they could have foreseen World War I and World War II also (they did foresee WWII and did nothing to stop it besides appease Hitler). And America had their backs.
Under a Trump administration, nobody will have their backs. And when the war comes to us, nobody will have our backs. That big, beautiful wall on our southern border will be about as good as the Maginot line was to France in 1939.
Trump’s braintrust includes heavy hitters like George Papadopoulos, whose extensive resume includes “U.S. Representative a the 2012 Geneva International Model United Nations.”
— Jia Lynn Yang (@jialynnyang) March 21, 2016
Trump is not fielding the most experienced crew here.
Telling the folks in Brussels that making America great again includes saying how beautiful it used to be there and it’s not anymore is like telling New Yorkers how the twin towers used to make such a beautiful skyline before 9/11. It’s unlikely to make any friends.
Do you all remember how beautiful and safe a place Brussels was. Not anymore, it is from a different world! U.S. must be vigilant and smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2016
Clearly, a Trump presidency will be a different (and far more dangerous) world. We can’t afford the price of winning.