Donald Trump recently became the first acting U.S. president to cross the Demilitarized Zone separating North Korea from the South for a photo op with Kim Jong Un. North Korea’s leader had previously been lambasted by Trump for his nuclear ambitions. North Korea’s attempts at nuclear capabilities in the past — nascent or otherwise — do not appear to have impeded the commendable attempts by the two sides to seek a rapprochement, which could potentially lead to peace in peninsular Korea. What is disheartening is how Trump’s reckless foreign policy misadventures elsewhere appear to contrast starkly with his conciliatory gestures towards North Korea.

The Trump administration unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, which had imposed restrictions on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, while removing sanctions against the country, thus allowing meaningful economic recovery to take place there. Since assuming office, the Trump administration has attempted to ban Iranian nationals from setting foot on U.S. soil, even with the appropriate immigration documents. It has imposed economic sanctions on the Iranian economy, which have caused untold damage to the lives and economic well-being of Iranian citizens, many of whom overtly and covertly disagree with the regime’s policies. Worse, it has tried to pressure other nations, including U.S. allies, to stop purchasing Iranian oil. This has caused secondary damage to both Iran and other nations trading with it. Such action has the characteristics of bullying on a near global scale.

More recently, the Trump administration has even gone as far as threatening military action against Iran in response to the country’s downing of a U.S. drone that had been provocatively patrolling in the vicinity of Iranian territory. Although unmanned, drones should not be considered anything other than menacing when sent into the airspace of other sovereign countries. In Pakistan and Yemen, for instance, the U.S. has frequently used drones as method for attacking individuals and groups suspected of being terrorists. As early as 2012, a joint study commissioned by Stanford and New York University titled ‘’Living Under Drones’’ concluded that the proportion of civilian deaths during Obama-era drone killing programs was staggeringly high, as much as 98%. In this light, the possibility that nations like Iran will consider such unwanted drone patrols by the U.S. military to be threatening is not at all far-fetched.

One wonders at the seeming incongruity of U.S. policies towards its adversaries. North Korea, which by some measures is on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons, is rewarded with photo ops, while Iran, which consented to stringent checks of its nuclear program is subjected to draconian sanctions targeting its population more than the ruling clique. One need not even be a critic of the controversial Trump administration to point out that such double standards are neither ethical nor consistent with U.S. values and interests.

Shafi is a contributing writer for Susquehanna Valley Progress.

(1) comment


What is truly disheartening is the radical far left Socialist Progressive never ending assault on President Trumpwho has taken the us from the worst Preidents ever to one of the greatest. Our economy is thriving because of his turning around a failed economic Obama Domestic Policy. Just about every promise Trump made he has kept and those not kept are because of the radical far left and RINO state of the DC Swamp. The folks know that those who criticize by making childish like arguments are not what most true Americans feel and believe. They call us despicables who cling to God, guns and moral values but this is exactly what made us the greatest Country in world history. If any intelligent person would sit down and think, this Country has been taken advantage of by the world for as long as I can remember. If this is good foreign policy I would hate to see what the far left Socialist Progressives consider bad. Perhaps protecting everyone in NATO without a single nation except us paying their far share? Perhaps bribing Iran to hate us and laugh at us for delivering billions in suitcases in the middle of the night? Perhaps letting China, Mexico and Canada rip us off with trillions of dollars of trade inbalance? Or perhaps letting China and others steal our R & D secrets? Or maybe perhaps let the hate America Middle East wipe Israel off the face of the earth? Or too maybe letting their own Democratic Party collude with Russia and all the illegal aliens to rig the next presidential election? This is just something more to think about in a nation divided by the politics of President Obama.

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