Trump versus Biden: strength versus appeasement

by Elad Hakim

Op-ed by Elad Hakim | Photo: Alamy

Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “If history teaches us anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly.”

Throughout his presidency, President Donald J. Trump displayed intelligence, toughness, and strength. America was respected, and its enemies knew not to test his resolve. On the other hand, Joe Biden projects weakness, a lack of resolve, and an America-last philosophy. His policies revolve around one fundamental and failed principle: appeasement. As a result, America and its allies around the world are less safe.    

There are many examples where appeasement has failed

History is replete with examples where appeasement has failed, as discussed here and here. More recently, in 2015, the United States, led by former President Barack Obama, Iran, and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to deal with Iran’s nuclear development program.

At its core, Iran “agreed” to strictly “limit” its nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions against the country. In reality, as reported by the National Review, Iran had no intention of slowing down its nuclear program and was given secret exemptions (by way of “side deals” that were not fully disclosed to Congress) from some of the key requirements of the deal. As sanctions against Iran were lifted, Iran continued to pursue its nuclear weapons program and has seemingly continued to do so to date.

Biden continues to appease and portray weakness

Sadly, Biden has not learned the dangers of appeasement despite history’s painful lessons. Rather than leading from a position of power and strength, Biden continues to promote policies that appease and embolden the nation’s enemies.

The recent tragedy in Israel perfectly illustrates Biden’s ineptitude and weakness. Shortly before the devastating attack on one of America’s strongest allies, Biden agreed to unfreeze at least $6 billion to Iran (as part of a prisoner swap deal), a country whose leaders have publicly called for the destruction of the State of Israel and has had its hands in many devastating attacks around the world. Nearly a week into the war, the U.S. and Qatar re-froze the funds on Thursday after facing much criticism.

As reported by Fox News, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., recently stated, “Just weeks ago, the Biden administration handed over $6 billion to Iran, and today, innocent Israelis were murdered by Iran-backed terrorists.” The attack led to the deaths of innocent men, women, and babies (some of whom were beheaded).

Other examples of the Biden administration’s weakness

Aside from Biden’s recent decision to unfreeze the money, he has portrayed weakness on various other occasions. For example, due to his weak policies, Russia and Ukraine continue to engage in a deadly war that would never have happened under Trump’s leadership. Biden’s bad decision-making in Afghanistan resulted in the death of many American military members and equipped America’s adversaries with sophisticated American weapons that were left behind after America’s botched withdrawal.

Biden’s terrible and weak immigration policies have also allowed millions of people to enter the country. Many of these people have not been vetted, and their whereabouts are unknown. Biden also continues to bow down to China despite the many atrocities there and the danger that China poses. Biden’s policies have resulted in more crime, drug-related deaths, gang violence, a border catastrophe, and a country and world that is much less safe and closer than ever to a devastating global war.

Trump was intelligent, strong, tough, and resolute

Unlike Biden, Trump was tough, smart, and led from a position of strength. As a result, America was respected and safer (as were many of its allies).

For example, as reported in a 2021 column in The Hill:

“Former President Donald Trump freed U.S. military commanders from unsound Obama-era constraints and enabled our troops to militarily defeat the ISIS caliphate. He held accountable dictator Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons and imposed sanctions to penalize Russia and Iran for supporting the Syrian regime. The Trump administration reestablished strategic deterrence against Iranian aggression, including the elimination of General Qassem Soleimani. Buoyed by the strength it demonstrated in the region, the Trump administration also broke new ground in promoting Middle East peace through Abraham Accords, under which Israel so far has normalized relations with four additional Arab nations.”

Trump also implemented very tough immigration policies, built a large portion of the border wall, convinced Mexico to provide security along the US-Mexico border, starved off the money supply to some of the world’s most dangerous nations and regimes, protected and defended America’s military, and acted when necessary to protect America and America’s allies.

Unlike Biden, America’s adversaries respected and/or feared Trump and knew not to test him. When Trump was in office, Israel and the Middle East were safer, peace deals were brokered, Russia and Ukraine were not at war, China was not nearly as emboldened, illegal immigration was much better controlled, the United States was respected around the world, and the threat of a world war did not loom over the minds of everyday Americans.

Reagan’s statement about appeasement was exactly right. Today, America needs an intelligent, strong, tough, and seasoned leader. America must reestablish its powerful image, portray strength and toughness to deter America’s adversaries from testing its resolve and regain the worldwide respect that existed when Trump was in office.    

Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, Steadfast and Loyal Podcast with Allen West, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice. The views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not constitute legal advice.   

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