Saturday, October 31, 2020

Victor Davis Hanson: Trump vs. Biden: A Rundown

Leah Millis, Alan Freed/Reuters
Foreign policy, domestic policy, character, transparency
One week out, the contrasts are worth assessing.
Foreign policy
Biden so far has issued no substantive critique of Trump’s foreign policy other than banalities that Trump’s comportment and unpredictability have offended allies and tarnished America’s reputation.
But who exactly, according to Biden, is offended?
China? Russia? Iran? Turkey? And all those states that, given their records, should be offended?
Or are the aggrieved Arab World, Israel, Brazil, Poland, and India, angry at Trump’s outreach to them all?
Most likely, Biden believes that German-controlled Western Europe rightly loathes Trump.
It certainly may. But Europe tends to be fond of charismatic would-be-intellectual presidents such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who wax eloquently about cooperation rather than upping Western defenses in the manner of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.
Would Biden seek a reset or detente with China? Would he stop efforts to force China to adhere to international trading accords or make China come clean about its role in the origins and spread of COVID-19?
More specifically, might Biden fault Trump for selling lethal weapons to Ukraine when previously he apparently thought that move was too provocative? Would Biden have forgone killing Qasem Soleimani and Abu Baghdadi, given his own prior advice to not go after Osama bin Laden?
What exactly bothers Biden about current foreign policy? Restoring close relations with Israel after the Obama-administration ostracism?
Would Biden move the U.S. embassy back to Tel Aviv, restore American multimillion-dollar aid to the Palestinians, accept Bashar al-Assad’s claim to the Golan Heights, or caution moderate Gulf states not to ally with Israel?
Biden might well drop sanctions against Iran and reenter the Iran deal. But would he really think that outreach would prevent an Iranian bomb? Would a renewal of Obama-administration cash transfers not again empower Hezbollah?
Would Biden just accept that NATO members will never meet their financial obligations?
Or would he return to Obama’s tactic — petulance and empty chiding of the alliance? Would Biden drop the Trump sanctions on Russia or quit jawboning against the Russian-German gas deal?
Read the rest from Dr. Hanson HERE.

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