Donald Trump’s big Wednesday afternoon foreign policy speech didn’t feature the type of controversial rhetoric we’ve grown accustomed to from him — he didn’t call Mexicans “rapists” or cite hoax email chains as inspiring his national security policy, for instance.
The Republican presidential frontrunner, who uncharacteristically delivered the speech by reading off a teleprompter to a subdued audience in Washington D.C., did say some notable things, however. He warned against “the false song of globalism” and discussed how “America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.” But also worth mentioning were some of the things he didn’t see fit to include during a speech that may have previewed the toned-down Trump we’ll see during the upcoming general campaign.
His Support For War Crimes
With regard to ISIS, Trump said, “I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how,” adding that America must be “more unpredictable.”
Trump didn’t mention that the “unpredictable” tactics he backs include war crimes like killing the family members of suspected terrorists, and torture.
The True Source Of Terrorism
Trump did allude to his proposal to prohibit Muslims from entering the country, saying, “We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies. A pause for reassessment will help us to prevent the next San Bernardino or worse — all you have to do is look at the World Trade Center and September 11th.”
He didn’t mention, however, that no Muslim who isn’t a citizen of the United States has been involved in a credible domestic terrorism plot, let alone carried out a terrorist act, since September 11, 2001 — a timeframe during which nearly 800,000 refugees have entered the country. Also left unsaid was the fact Americans are seven times more likely to be killed by a right-wing extremist than they are to be killed by a Muslim terrorist.
George W. Bush
Trump blasted “Obama-Clinton interventions” for making the Middle East “more unstable and chaotic than ever before.” But he didn’t mention George W. Bush, who Trump criticized months ago for lying his way into a deadly, protracted quagmire in Iraq.
But in another remark that could be taken as an indirect criticism of the last Republican president, Trump said, “I will not send our finest into battle unless necessary — and I mean absolutely necessary. And I will do so only if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.”
His $10 Trillion Deficit
Trump emphasized the importance of a strong military, saying, “Our military is depleted, and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming. We will spend what we need to rebuild our military.”
What he didn’t mention is that the level of defense spending he desires would be complicated by his budget, which includes such drastic tax cuts, especially for the rich, that the federal deficit would grow by nearly $10 trillion over a decade.
How He’d Bring Jobs Back
With regard to trade policy, Trump decried America’s manufacturing trade deficit. “Ending the theft of American jobs will give us the resources we need to rebuild our military and regain our financial independence and strength,” he said.
But how exactly does Trump plan to end the theft of American jobs? He’s not saying.
“I am the only person running for the Presidency who understands this problem and knows how to fix it,” he offered, without actually mentioning how.
Blackmailing Mexico To Build A Border Wall
Trump didn’t mention a centerpiece of his campaign — his plan to blackmail the Mexican government into paying for a $5–10 billion border wall by cutting off remittances from the United States.