But oh my goodness, Donald Trump starts pushing a non-interventionist approach to U.S. foreign affairs, and the hateful anti-Zionist author or "The Israel Lobby" declaims anything to do with the Manhattan mogul's allegedly "ignorant, offensive, and toxic" approach to American foreign policy.
You gotta love 2016!
At Foreign Policy, "Donald Trump: Keep Your Hands Off the Foreign-Policy Ideas I Believe In":
Apart from his other shortcomings, Donald Trump is giving a sensible approach to U.S. foreign policy a bad name. In recent years, a number of scholars and policy analysts have labored to articulate and explain why the United States would be better off with a foreign policy that was less interventionist, less costly, less hypocritical, less beholden to special interests, and above all more successful than the strategy of liberal hegemony pursued by the past three U.S. administrations.There's more at the link.
This more restrained approach seeks to advance the U.S. national interest first and foremost. In other words, it maintains that the first goal of U.S. foreign policy is to make Americans safer and more prosperous. This alternative grand strategy would eschew ambitious attempts to remake the world in America’s image and would press key U.S. allies to take more responsibility for their own defense. The United States would not disengage from the world or retreat to Fortress America, but it would be much more selective in its use of military power and focus primarily on preventing potentially dangerous concentrations of power from emerging in Europe, Asia, or the Persian Gulf.
Unfortunately, because these ideas overlap with some (but by no means all) of Trump’s pronouncements on foreign policy, his increasingly incoherent, ignorant, and incompetent campaign threatens to tarnish this alternative in the minds of some observers. Assuming he loses — fingers crossed — the end result could perpetuate America’s present grand strategy despite its many shortcomings.
To give The Donald his due, he has thus far said three perfectly sensible and uncontroversial things about foreign policy. First, he has made it clear he believes the primary purpose of U.S. foreign policy is to advance U.S. interests. In other words, he thinks most states pursue their own interests first and foremost and the United States should do the same. Though most of the foreign-policy establishment claims to have loftier goals (i.e., spreading democracy, promoting human rights, halting proliferation, etc.), Trump’s emphasis on U.S. interests is hardly beyond the pale.
Second, he believes many U.S. allies are wealthy countries free-riding on American protection and failing to bear their rightful share of collective security burdens. He’s correct, and plenty of other U.S. leaders — including President Barack Obama and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates — have said exactly the same thing on numerous occasions.
Third, Trump is skeptical of ambitious efforts to “nation build” in far-flung corners of the world, and he now claims to be opposed to dumb wars. It’s hard to argue with him on this point either, though let’s not forget that he supported the Iraq War in 2003 (and then denied that he had done so). Moreover, he sometimes sounds like he’d be willing to go to war at the drop of a hat. But a disinclination to enter more open-ended quagmires is hardly a controversial position at this point.
Reasonable people can disagree about these three assertions, but they are hardly bizarre or outside the boundaries of acceptable discussion. If Trump stuck with them and made them the centerpiece of his foreign-policy platform, the 2016 campaign might actually feature an instructive and long-overdue debate on the global role of the United States and the proper use of American power. Unfortunately, those three elements pretty much exhaust Trump’s wisdom on foreign affairs, and the rest of his views are a farrago of ignorant, offensive, and toxic beliefs that have no business anywhere near the Oval Office.
For starters, Trump’s views on international economics reflect a protectionist outlook that was discredited a couple of centuries ago. Tearing up the North American Free Trade Agreement or leaving the World Trade Organization would not restore American manufacturing or make the country “great” again; it would instead be a body blow to the United States and the world economy and could quite possibly trigger another global recession. Trump simply doesn’t seem to understand that trade is not a zero-sum game where one state “wins” and the rest “lose”; it’s not like one of his shady business deals, which have lined his own pockets and left lots of unhappy customers feeling bilked. Furthermore, Trump’s claim that he can single-handedly negotiate “great” deals to replace the existing global trading system just tells you that he doesn’t know how such deals are actually negotiated or how that order works.
On top of that, Trump’s thinly veiled racism and his penchant for insulting rivals are a recipe for diplomatic disaster. Seriously, how can someone who routinely demeans Hispanics and Muslims expect to conduct effective diplomacy with our neighbors in Latin America or with the entire Arab world?
Stephen Walt lecturing us on "veiled racism"? That is really rich.
To respond as plainly as possible here: Stephen Walt is a bad person who pushes evil anti-Israel tropes, and who hangs out with even worse people in real life.
I've documented this myself many times, but of course the facts are out there for anyone who dares to look.
Here's my post from 2011, "Harvard's Stephen Walt Speaks at Code Pink's Move Over AIPAC! Summit, May 21, 2011."
There's a long record of anti-Semitism at MoveOn.org. See, at FrontPage Magazine, "Moving On to Anti-Semitism." Also, at Moonbattery, "ADL Complains About MoveOn.org's Anti-Semitism."
Plus, at Isra-Pundit, "MoveOn.org = George Soros’ International Solidarity Movement: MoveOn.org’s virulent hatred of Israel is entirely consistent with the agenda of George Soros, who blames Israel for causing most of the world’s anti-Semitism."
More recently, from Moe Lane, "Moveon.Org Rediscovers Its Anti-Semitic, Racist Roots: Endorses [Apologizes To] Racist Anti-Semite Charles Barron For NY-08. [UPDATED And Corrected.]."
And then there's Code Pink, whose Israel-hatred I've documented frequently. Here, "Vile Anti-Semitism at Code Pink Protest in Oakland," and "Eliminationist Anti-Semitism, Right Here at Home: [Code Pink] Al Quds Rally, DuPont Circle, Washington, D.C., September 3, 2010."
Still more, "Code Pink Activists Meet With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
Also, at Commentary, "Move Over AIPAC, Here Come the Geriatric Anti-Semites."
And of course, it's been 10 years now, but who can forget the debate over "The Israel Lobby"? Here's a quick reminder, from Eliot Cohen, at WaPo, "Yes, It's Anti-Semitic."
Also, at the Tablet, "Mainstreaming Hate: How media companies are using the Internet to make anti-Semitism respectable," and "Stephen Walt Is the George Kennan of the Obama Administration: Plenty of pundits have jockeyed to be the top voice on the Middle East, but only one person’s ideas dominate the conversation."
Say what you will about Donald Trump's movement (and a lot has been said about the "alt right" components of his support), if you're morally consistent, you speak out against all of it. Israel-hatred has no place in American politics, much less in this election.
The fact is, Trump's a firm defender of Israel and his own daughter, son-in-law, and grandson are Jewish.
Also, at Haaretz, "WATCH: Trump Defends Israel After 'Nasty' Question: 'Let me just tell you that Israel is a very, very important ally of the United States. And we are going to protect them 100%'."