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Donald Trump's foreign policy speech shows: we have no anti-war candidates

By       Message Trevor Timm     Permalink

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Reprinted from The Guardian

Hillary Clinton tends to be in favor of military engagement, and Donald Trump's speech expresses parallel sentiments

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Fox News)
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Now that it's increasingly likely that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be the two major candidates for president in the general election, voters are once again left without a true anti-war candidate, or even a decisive break from the last decade-and-a-half of disastrous foreign policy.

We already know there's barely ever been a military engagement that Clinton didn't like. And Trump confirmed on Wednesday in his "big" foreign policy speech that he will be a chaotic and unpredictable aggressor whose opinion changes with the wind. When Bernie Sanders leaves the race, there will no longer be a credible voice saying that more bombing is not necessarily the answer to solving all the problems in the Middle East, many of which were caused by bombing in the first place.

Trump started off his speech on Wednesday by reading from a teleprompter in a rambling and incoherent manner, declaring that Obama has "depleted" our military (false), the Iran deal was the "worst agreement" (why?) and that we don't support Israel, "a force for justice and peace" (absurd) -- hallmark Republican conventional wisdom talking points.

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He then did say some things that suggested he would not look to immediately start new wars in the Middle East and elsewhere, but it's hard to take anything he says on the subject seriously. He swung wildly from one position to its opposite on multiple occasions, contradicting himself at various times from comments he made years to mere minutes prior.

For example, he said that bombing Libya was "a disaster," but he then questioned why we aren't still bombing Libya right now. He claimed that "unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct." Yet he's bragged in the recent past about wanting to bring back waterboarding, or "much worse," killing terrorists' entire families, and would not be opposed to using nuclear bombs, even in Europe. He remarked that there's "too much destruction out there -- too many destructive weapons," but just five minutes earlier in the speech, he said the US's nuclear arsenal was in dire need of "renewal."

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Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to  The (more...)

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