US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy is ‘transactional,’ which is newspeak for opportunistic, cynical and hypocritical, says Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.
Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on a new statement from the US about North Korea. The United States has said it hopes North Korea would freeze its nuclear program, a move that could be the start of a denuclearization process. This comes after President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) late in June, during which the two agreed to resume working-level talks following their failed summit in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, in February.
According to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the talks would likely take place “sometime in July … probably in the next two or three weeks.”
Professor Etler, “If ever there was reason to believe that the US position regarding nuclear proliferation is a political ploy and nothing more, its double standards regarding North Korea, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia should put the issue to rest. The US attitude is inconsistent and unprincipled. The standards that it applies to one do not apply to the others, so it is fruitless to expect any rationale for US policy other than pure expediency. As is often said, Trump’s foreign policy is ‘transactional,’ which is newspeak for opportunistic, cynical and hypocritical.”
“Take for instance Trump’s nuclear policy towards North Korea. At first he threatened fire and fury against the North if it did not immediately cease and desist from pursuing its nuclear program. But soon, because of both domestic political and overseas geopolitical considerations he backed off and completely changed tact. Washington accepted North Korean Chairman Kim’s pledge not to test its nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles while it acquiesced to Pyongyang’s continued maintenance of its nascent nuclear deterrent as nebulous and intermittent talks continued,” he added.
“Now, the White House has suggested that if the North declares a freeze on its nuclear program renewed talks can begin to discuss eventual denuclearization. As things stand there are no preconditions imposed on the North in order to continue negotiations. There are no limits placed on its enrichment of nuclear fuel and no inspections to see if the North is abiding by any of its pledges. Instead Trump and Kim exchange laudatory letters and meet amicably, patting each other on the back,” he stated.
�Contrast this with Trump’s attitude toward Iran. Iran, in good faith, negotiated a comprehensive deal to curtail its nuclear development program, with strict limitations on nuclear enrichment and a thorough-going inspection regime. No one disputes that Iran has meticulously lived up to its obligations. In return UN imposed sanctions were lifted and Iran’s economic relations with the EU and the rest of the world were being normalized,” he noted. “Then, Trump, fulfilling his campaign pledge, withdrew the US from the deal and reimposed sanctions with the expressed intent of crippling the Iranian economy and forcing Iran to abandon its sovereign right to self-defense,” he said.
“The difference between Trump’s approach to North Korea and Iran could not be more stark. This can only be attributed to the fact that Trump sees North Korea as a potential chit to use in his ongoing contention with the People�s Republic of China. On the other hand, Iran is seen as the sworn enemy of staunch US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of which are implicated in serial human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. As far as Israel goes, the US turns a blind eye to its nuclear arsenal, while it supplies Saudi Arabia the means to begin its own nuclear program,” he said. “Whatever rationale Washington may use to isolate and punish Iran with economic and other sanctions, in reality it has nothing to do with its nuclear program. That is merely an excuse to wage economic war against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The only reason Trump has withdrawn from the Iranian nuclear deal is to support Israel and Saudi Arabia in their attempt to carve up the Middle East between them,� the analyst noted.