Trump the Peace Candidate, Cruz the Neocon
Trump reiterates desire to get along with Russia. … Fox News Debate spectacle an embarrassment to the United States on the foreign stage.
By Karl Pomeroy
March 4, 2016
Updated March 5, 2016
Donald Trump has been voted the overwhelming victor in last night’s Fox News interrogation, inaptly called the “Republican Presidential Debate,” which was held in Detroit, Michigan.
As of 15:30 UTC March 4, the online kmtv.com poll, with 20,670 participants, shows Trump carrying 78% of the winner vote. Vicious tactics backfired on Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who received only single digit support. John Kasich gained considerably, having avoided the fray and focused on issues.
Trump also did well in the Time poll, with 65% of the vote:
Who won the GOP debate?
Kntv.com Poll – 20,670 votes
Time.com Poll – 40,302 votes
The debate itself amounted to a barbaric grilling of the front-runner billionaire by Fox News moderators, encouraged by back-runner candidates Rubio and Cruz, who sank to a level of personal attack not even fit to print. The spectacle was an embarrassment to the United States on the foreign stage.
It is difficult to imagine any world leader standing up graciously to such vilification in front an audience of millions. The blame for this lies with Fox News, which is not a mature enough venue to handle what should be a serious discussion platform.
Fox “moderators” played on Mitt Romney’s recent Judas-like betrayal of Trump, in which the 2004 loser Republican candidate fired at Trump’s noninterventionist foreign policy, saying it would make the world “less safe”.
How safe was the world under George W. Bush? How safe is it under Obama? How could it be any less safe than it is now? At a point when Trump was able to gain a moment of quiet in the cacophany, he said, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the United States could get along with other countries?”
Yes, wouldn’t it.
Trump also reiterated the desire to get along with Russia, marking him the top candidate for peace.
Pressure was placed on the business mogul with a surprise trick of showing him on video—inappropriate in a debate format—supposedly contradicting himself on three occasions. A minor change of opinion in a remark about US presence in Afghanistan was the only instance that might merit question. I heard no contradiciton in the other two statements. Yet Fox moderator Megan Kelly rudely insisted Trump answer all three accusations at once, rather than one a time, in an obvious attempt to keep him off balance.
Trump stood his ground, despite intense pressure from moderators and debators alike, repeating that the US should never have gone into Iraq. He did not retract his statement that George W. Bush lied about Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.
Then Fox News showed a video of Trump saying confidently, “I think I can work with Putin.” This was a bald attempt to force him to retract that intelligent assertion. Ted Cruz then turned on him, claiming, “Donald doesn’t seem to realize how dangerous Putin is,” adding that we need to send more military assistance into Ukraine to stop Putin’s aggression.
These statements brand Cruz a neocon to rival Hillary Clinton.
The unfounded vilification of Trump is beginning to resemble that of Vladimir Putin, who is repeatedly attacked by Western neoconservatives for actions that are reasonable and peaceful. The US neocons and their global elite sponsors have fallen into such a destructive frame of mind, they cannot stand the sight of goodness, like vampires shrinking from a cross. They seem to believe the world is “safer” if destroyed by nuclear war. Mutually reinforcing their own paranoia, the elite have descended into lynch mob mentality. And they are taking it out on Donald Trump.
The billionaire’s views are, alas, not perfect from the standpoint of enlightened reason—although predominantly so. For example, Trump reiterates his support of waterboarding in the context of terrorist Islamic extremists, who themselves commit unspeakable crimes against Christians. [Update: Trump has since reversed his opinion on waterboarding.] But enhanced interrogation is not acceptable under any pretext. First, there are always innocent victims. Second, it does not lead to truth.
That Trump advocates waterboarding, although a bad mark on his record, does not change the fact that he is the most reasonable of the candidates on foreign policy issues.
Trump erred on another point when he called Edward Snowden “a spy”, apparently trying to retract previous statements that Snowden was a whistleblower who exposed the crimes of the NSA. Edward Snowden is not a spy. The true story on Snowden is that he is a patriot who performed an act of civil disobedience. Snowden broke some serious laws. But if he is to be prosecuted, the US government should also be prosecuted for the crimes Snowden revealed.
How many destructive attacks can one man endure? Putin has survived US neocon attacks by virtue of his physical separation of hundreds or thousands of miles. Trump is right here, trying to work within the two-party system. Unfortunately, neither Republicans nor Democrats have the right ideas on every issue, so a reasonable candidate does not fit well into either party. And now, Trump’s reasonable policies on world affairs are being attacked by Republicans as “non-Republican.”
There is no doubt the Republican Party and the US ruling establishment are pulling out all stops to stop Trump’s candidacy.
All we the people can do is support him all the more.