Trump says he would meet with Iranian president – but what would that mean?

by Phil Schneider

President Trump is not a person who’s words should be analyzed for hidden meanings. He does not put in an enormous amount of thought before speaking. It often seems he doesn’t think at all before speaking – even when he says rather intelligent things. He is a shoot from the hip president. This makes it rather simple to understand what he means when he speaks. He has made it clear in his first term as President that he indeed does mean what he says when he speaks. So, what does he mean when he says that he would be willing to meet? He means exactly that. OK, No commentary needed. He believes that there is value in meeting with enemies.

Now, let’s discuss what would happen in that meeting? Well, there is already a track record. President Trump has already met with the dictator of North Korea and has met with Putin. He believes in being gracious with them, and in ending the meeting with glowing compliments in order to build a rapport from which to continue his negotiation with them. He also believes firmly that political negotiation should be tied up together with offers of economic prosperity. He sees economic prowess as one of the main forms of leverage that the United States has to offer in international negotiation. It’s a “share the wealth” attitude. Basically the logic is follows. President Trump tells the tyrants that if they continue along their path, they will force him to use overwhelming force to crush them in order to safeguard the interests of the United States. But if they want to become super popular in their countries for bringing wealth and prosperity, then the United States will insure that massive investment will come their way. It’s a carrot and stick attitude. It seems to be rather effective and logical. But, it is way premature to make a judgement on this.

FDR chose a path of major economic support for England and the Soviet Union in order to keep American soldiers out of World War II. But he had very little choice. The American public was not interested in participating in the War. They had had enough from World War I. But, ultimately, he led the American population to the inevitable conclusion that they had no choice. They needed to engage or the German soldiers would overtake England and threaten the United States mainland. This may be the case today too with some of the foes of the United States. However, the standing of the United States in the world today is even more powerful than it was back in the time of World War II. President Trump needs solid advisors to make sure he doesn’t misstep on these massive international issues. He probably could use a General Mattis back next to him for this purpose. But, hopefully his other advisors will know when to make sure that he is not too impulsive at jumping into setting off a major conflagration when better alternatives exist.

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