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“Time-travel with me back to 2016. Fears were rampant that Donald Trump would not be able to handle an international crisis, that he would react either recklessly or timidly and thereby hurt U.S. security. We’re going through a period of intense global pressure right now, and so far he has proved up to the task.
Take Iran’s recent provocations. U.S. sanctions have started to bite, so the mullahs are saber rattling. But neither threats to ramp up their nuclear program nor credible intelligence that they intended to attack U.S. interests have provoked the president. Instead, the administration is prudently responding via diplomacy (witness Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent unscheduled trip to Baghdad) and by sending a carrier battle group to the Arabian Sea. People might disagree with some of President Trump’s Middle East policy decisions, such as his decision to rescind the Obama administration’s deal with Iran (I think it was the right call because the deal merely subsidized a multiyear delay in Iran’s nuclear weapons program rather than remove that threat entirely), but since then, Trump has conducted measured, thoughtful action.
Ditto with respect to the Venezuelan crisis. Fears were rampant when the United States and its allies recognized interim president Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate ruler that a cowboy invasion was right around the corner. Instead, we have seen the opposite. The application of sanctions and the slow isolation of Venezuela’s government and leadership haven’t toppled the dictator Nicolás Maduro yet. But neither has Trump given in to the temptation to either reverse course or recklessly attack. Again, one can disagree with the strategy but there is no quibbling with the tactics.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."
"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."
"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."
"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."
"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."
"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."
"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."
"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."
"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."
"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."
"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."
"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."