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Robert Reich: Trump Is Selling Out America In Syria And Beyond – OpEd

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The most xenophobic and isolationist American president in modern history has been selling America to foreign powers for his personal benefit. That’s an impeachable offense.

President Donald Trump says he withdrew American troops from the Syrian-Turkish border—leaving our Kurdish allies to be slaughtered and opening the way for a resurgent ISIS—because it was time to bring American soldiers home.

A more likely explanation is that the Trump Towers Istanbul is the Trump Organization’s first and only office and residential building in Europe. Businesses linked to the Turkish government are also major patrons of the Trump Organization. Hence, Trump has repeatedly sided with Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been intent on eliminating Kurds.

Back home, Trump wants to protect America’s borders from illegal immigration. But guarding America’s geographic borders isn’t nearly as important as guarding the integrity of American democracy—which Trump has repeatedly compromised for personal political gain.

He did this on July 25, when he asked the president of Ukraine to do him a personal “favor” by digging up dirt on Joe Biden, his most likely 2020 opponent.

Likewise, Trump claims his China policy is designed to protect the American economy. So why did he ask China to investigate Biden? Last week, his adviser on China conceded he spoke with Chinese officials about the former vice president.

Trump’s entire foreign policy has been about Trump from the start. Special counsel Robert Mueller found that Russia sought to help Trump get elected, and Trump’s campaign welcomed the help.

Now Trump is playing at being a double foreign agent—pushing the prime minister of Australia, among others, to gather information to discredit the Mueller investigation.

Rudy Giuliani is Trump’s private secretary of state, substituting Trump’s interests for American interests. On Wednesday, two of Giuliani’s business associates were arrested in connection with a criminal scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for office, including donations to a super PAC formed to support Trump.

Last Friday, in an opening statement for congressional impeachment investigators, Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, said people associated with Giuliani “may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, even as Trump spews conspiracy theories about the Biden family, his own children are openly profiting from foreign deals. Eric and Don Jr. have projects in the works in Ireland, India, Indonesia, Uruguay, Turkey and the Philippines.

Trump himself is pocketing money from foreign governments eager to curry favor by staying at his hotels. The practice has become so routine that during Trump’s July 25 phone call, the Ukrainian president assured him that the “last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park, and I stayed at the Trump Tower.”

Foreign governments spent more than a million dollars at Trump’s businesses in 2018, mostly at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Trump will pocket even more if he carries out his plan, which he announced last month, to host next year’s G-7 meeting at his Doral golf resort, in Florida.

All this is precisely what the Founding Fathers sought to prevent.

When they gathered in Philadelphia 232 years ago to write a constitution, a major goal was to protect the new nation from what Alexander Hamilton called the “desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”

To ensure no president would “betray his trust to foreign powers,” as James Madison put it, they included an emoluments clause—barring a president from accepting foreign payments.

They also gave Congress the right to impeach a president for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” During the Virginia ratifying convention, Edmund Randolph noted that a president “may be impeached” if discovered “receiving [help] from foreign powers.”

You don’t have to be an originalist to see the dangers to democracy when a president seeks or receives personal favors from foreign governments. There is no limit to how far a foreign power might go to help a president enlarge his political power and wealth, in exchange for selling out America.

Donald Trump is a xenophobe in public and international mobster in private. He has brazenly sought private gain from foreign governments at the expense of the American people.

This is shameful and criminal. At the very least, it is impeachable.



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Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

2 thoughts on “Robert Reich: Trump Is Selling Out America In Syria And Beyond – OpEd

  • Avatar
    October 15, 2019 at 12:19 pm
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    I am amazed about by a professor having article with this title. For ignorant people, they may think that America owns Syria. In other words, Syria is an additional state or property of America.
    But the reality is that under Obama, a war criminal and terrorist president, had sent US troops to Syria to occupy some border areas around Syria. He landed the troops on AL-Tanaf base close to Jordan and area of oil fields in Syria close to Iraq. The purpose was to fight Daesh.
    Eventually, Obama destroyed Syria’s infrastructure and was impeding Syria’s attack against Daesh. He bombed the Syria army several time to support Daesh. He also provided the terrorist groups with weapons and food. In addition, Obama was looting Syrian’s oil.
    Trump started his term and tookover Syria’s problem. He decided to pull the troop out then changed his mind. Now, he has decided to leave. If he leaves Syria will control its entire country with the exception of parts of Idlib.
    I think Trump has done a good decision. The Syrian Arab Army will eliminate all Daesh and AL-Qaeda (AL-Nusra) protected by the USA. Iraqi forces can destroy any group of Daesh going to Iraq. Syria will be able to move to Idlib and destroy AL-Nusra terrorists. Syria will get the job done.
    The result the terrorist groups will be eliminated with one exception because some of them will move to Turkey because they Turks and Erdogan’s citizens.
    This Trump’s decision is not selling America in Syria but it is a decision for killing and eliminating all terrorists with out costs being paid by the USA and for de-occupying Syrian’s land. If Trump changes his mind then he will have a new war in Syria and eventually will be defeated. No occupation force will last in the Middle East and war mongers are increasing in the USA.

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  • Avatar
    October 15, 2019 at 5:32 pm
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    Far from being a criticism of Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the region and apart from his concluding remarks, Mr. A. H. Mouhammed’s remarks are spot on. Here is probably the first evidence of Mr. Trump’s objectives to remove the United States from participating is endless wars between entities with no direct connection to the United States. May Mr. Trump continue on this path as America has too long been reduced to policeman by previous regimes rather than the international power that it is.

    Reply

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