Even for Democrats, it’s disturbing.
American liberals might have nothing but contempt for the freedom and strength that make the country great when they’re talking in private, but they used to be smart enough to know that they had to at least pretend to be patriotic in public.
But as the Trump administration keeps pushing its agenda of putting America first, even that mask is coming off — and what’s underneath is ugly.
In an op-ed published by The New York Times on Friday, two men who served on the staff of the National Security Council in the Obama White House openly called for traditional American allies in Europe to take the side of the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism over the leader of their own country.
According to Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevens, President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal is an insult so grievous that European governments should consider pulling their ambassadors out of Washington — and expelling American ambassadors from their own capitals.
And do this to show their allegiance to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This is no small thing.
According to The Times biography note, Simon is the author of a forthcoming book about U.S. foreign policy and the so-called “Arab Spring.” He was also the National Security Council’s senior director for the Middle East and North Africa from 2011 to 2012.
Stevenson, meanwhile was the “director for political-military affairs, Middle East and North Africa, at the National Security Council from 2011 to 2013.”
That would put both men in key roles in the Obama national security team while the president and his first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, were building a disaster of U.S. policy in Libya that helped flood Europe with millions of “migrants” today. (The disaster also included the deadly terrorist attack on the American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi that Democrats are still lying about.)
In other words, this isn’t some loony commenter at Vox joining up with a a half-stoned reader at Salon. This is the thinking of two serious — if demonstrably inept — leftist foreign policy mavens.
And it’s seriously infuriating.
First, the two men acknowledge that the different countries of Europe have different leadership, but propose “Europe” acts as a whole as an opponent of the Trump decision on the Iran deal (as though the continent is governed by a bunch of faceless bureaucrats in Brussels).
And they want Europe to defy the Trump administration’s sanctions on Iran by continuing to do business with the murderous mullahs — and make the point with diplomatic strikes of their own against the U.S.
“The European Union could, for instance, announce the withdrawal of member-states’ ambassadors from the United States. Isn’t this what states do when diplomatic partners breach solemn agreements, expose them to security risks and threaten to wreak havoc on their economies? That is, after all, what the administration is threatening to do by courting the risk of a Middle Eastern war and applying secondary sanctions to European companies. Depending on the American response, European capitals might even follow up with expulsion of American ambassadors.”
If that provokes the Trump White House, they wrote (and it certainly would), it would be time to ratchet up the pressure:
“If the administration’s next move were to impose secondary sanctions on Europe, the Europeans (sic) could slap its own penalties on American multinational corporations, which in turn would place additional pressure on the White House.”
So these two men, high-ranking national security officials in the United States government not all that long ago, are literally pushing American allies to launch a trade war with the United States.
They “justify” the argument by claiming that the Iran nuclear deal is of such crucial importance that Europe’s own commercial future is at stake, and Trump’s decision is imperiling that.
“If this doesn’t end the European Union’s doormat foreign policy, we might as well start referring to it as the 28 colonies ruled from across the ocean,” they wrote. “This is not an outcome the United States should welcome. As Britain learned in 1939, it’s a lot better to have allies than colonies.”
The historical jab is cute, and one can imagine the average New York Times reader nodding approvingly, secure in the knowledge that their own intellectual superiority has been affirmed by the Gray Lady’s writers once again.
But the real lesson from World War II isn’t what the map of Europe looked like in 1939. It’s what the map of the world looked like in 1945. And that was that any country — literally any country — that launches a full-scale war with the United States — trade or otherwise — is in for a rough few years before they give up the ghost.
And European countries — friend and foe — should have learned that lesson well. For the leader of any member of a European country to take the advice of Simon and Stevenson would be an astonishing act of political suicide.
But it’s even more astonishing that two men who were once part of the national security team of a United States president would be so open about rooting for a costly and damaging economic and political confrontation with their own country.
Even for Democrats, it’s disturbing.
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