Posted by Curt on 18 May, 2016 at 10:08 am. 1 comment.


Conrad Black:

It is a little disappointing that no one seems to have taken up Donald Trump’s challenge, in his foreign-policy address three weeks ago, to explain the Obama–Hillary Clinton foreign policy. The absurd and tragic alignment of the United States and its unenthused allies fighting alongside Russia and Iran against ISIS in the fragments of Iraq, and only partially doing so in the bloodstained remnants of Syria (as we are also fighting Russia and Iran there, in respect of the beleaguered regime of Bashar Assad), has been extensively reported. It has not been remotely adequately condemned as the evidence of incoherent and incompetent statesmanship that it is.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with a group of European lenders on May 12, in which he encouraged them to deal with Iran in a way that is still illegal for American banks, was a new step down into the abyss of risible foolishness where the Obama regime’s foreign policy is conducted. As I have written here before, it seems to be an effort to ask the friends and enemies of the United States to exchange roles and places. Some readers will recall the efforts the George W. Bush administration, continued by the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, made to exclude the Iranians from the world’s financial life and the strenuous efforts of the Bush and Obama administrations to tighten sanctions on Tehran. The Financial Action Task Force, an international agency to combat money laundering and extend the reach of ostensibly respectable governments into formerly private international financial transactions, has applied all its authority and influence against Iran, with the full backing of the U.S., the United Nations, and the European Union.

The official U.S. position is that Iran has ceased to advance its nuclear military program, but that Iran is still a supporter of terrorism and continues to develop its capacity to deliver a nuclear warhead on steadily longer-range missiles. Lest anyone be blinking with incredulity, in response to Iran’s complaints that it was not receiving the benefits of the nuclear deal with the U.S. and five other major powers (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom), Secretary Kerry asked European bankers to relax their embargo on Iran. As he did so, the Financial Action Task Force repeated that Iran was, as Stuart Levey emphasized in the Wall Street Journal on May 13, a “serious threat,” and the U.S. Treasury warned against the “risk that otherwise responsible financial institutions will unwittingly participate in Iran’s illicit activities.”

The U.S. secretary of state was thus urging international banks to do what the U.S. Treasury condemns, and what could quite plausibly become a matter of official prosecution when the mood shifts again in Washington, which is certain under a Trump presidency, and half-possible under a Clinton administration, depending on whether it is the ex-secretary of state Clinton or current candidate Clinton who would take office. Mr. Levey, the chief legal officer of Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, covers the problem by writing that his bank will observe the highest standards of risk and implies that that will exclude anything from Iran; but U.S. foreign policy has reached a very depressing level of hypocrisy and incoherence with this latest consequence of President Obama’s lonely quest to appease the theo-terrorists in Tehran, the ultimate unrequited inter-governmental romance.

As President Obama begins the long ride on the happy trails to retirement, his and his followers’ moth-eaten foreign policy becomes ever more nonsensical. His former secretary of state, hard-pressed by the most implausible serious contender for a major-party presidential nomination since the emergence of the party system — vastly surpassing such anti-candidates for Mount Rushmore as Millard Fillmore, Alton B. Parker, and George McGovern — still officially supports wide-open borders. Obama has completely suspended America’s existing immigration laws, porous mockery though they are. But Hillary Clinton goes him one better: Come one, come all. In her desperation to keep the non-white demographic satrapies of the Clintons happy, she is raising Lady Liberty’s torch to whomsoever fortune enables to pierce America’s southern border, site of the greatest invasion since Germany surged past the Maginot Line into France in 1940.

Mrs. Clinton assumedly relies on the virulent Trumpophobia of most of the media to damp down this potentially explosive policy brushfire, as all polls show that most Americans, including large numbers of African and even Latin Americans, are much less relaxed about immigration than that. It has become difficult to judge the balance of power between the mainstream and the social media, but Clinton’s stance has enflamed the Internet, and this is months before Donald deploys the resources of the Republican National Committee against Hillary. Another indication of the changing political currents is the move of News Corporation, including the tenor of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, toward a pro-Trump position, as the New York Times unearths and slings the muck of low gossip at Trump for his private life, and Bob Woodward leads a newly minted Watergate team of myth-makers to make the case that Trump is a fascist. The whole effort will be exposed as an ethically bankrupt and malignant fraud. The support of Trump by Rupert Murdoch and his team at News Corp. is important not only for their influence, but because of Mr. Murdoch’s long record of picking political winners in all the countries where he operates.

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