In 2016 Candidate Trump said, “We’re gonna win at every level. We’re going to win with the economy, with the military, with our veterans; we’re going to win with every single facet that you may even get tired of winning.” He was joking but was completely serious - because Donald Trump is a winner. He wants to win, he wants you and me to win, and he wants America to win. Last week, Trump, you and I, and America won again. And Mr. Trump, “We’re not tired of winning.” What happened last week?
EVERY PRESIDENT from Truman to Trump has dealt with issues and problems surrounding Israel, Arabs, Palestinians, and the Levant region of the Middle East. It boils down to Israel and Jews have a right to exist (Jewish Lives Matter) but no Islamic country recognized that fact. Israel was created in 1948, and they’ve been at war with neighboring countries ever since. In 1978, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty – the Camp David Accords. Then in 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty. So, with the exception of Egypt and Jordan, no other Islamic country recognized Israel. They wanted it destroyed. Last month that changed. The Trump administration brokered an historic peace deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. (As expected, Iran and Turkey opposed the deal.) Then, last week Bahrain announced it was recognizing and normalizing relations with Israel. Additionally, President Trump’s administration successfully brokered a peace agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. Part of that agreement calls for Serbia to normalize relations with Israel and open an embassy in Jerusalem. Bully for President Trump, the best American friend Israel has ever had!!
AS VOTERS, we get fixated on domestic policy. Yet, it’s foreign policy that usually makes or breaks a presidency. Until the Wuhan flu struck the global economy, the United States was experiencing the best economy in our nation’s history – historic labor participation, historic low Black unemployment, historic low Hispanic unemployment, and historic stock market highs - to name a few. As good as the economy was doing under Trump’s stewardship; America is doing even better overseas – economically, politically, and militarily. Following are specific examples:
• Signed historic trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
• Moved U.S. embassy in Israel to the Jewish capital of Jerusalem.
• Strengthened NATO by demanding member nations build their militaries as agreed.
• U.S. military killed ISIS terrorist leader Al-Baghdadi.
• U.S. military destroyed the ISIS caliphate that developed under Obama.
• Killed Iranian General Soleimani, a terrorist responsible for hundreds of American deaths.
• Pulled U.S. out of Obama’s terrible Iranian nuclear deal that would have given Iran free reign to build nuclear weapons.
• Pulled out of the disastrous Paris Climate Accord – a deal that would have crippled the U.S. economy by reducing our energy supplies.
Trump’s foreign policy successes go on and on - Pulled the military out of Syria; held summits with Kim Jong Un, North Korea halted missile tests; ending “endless” Middle East wars; brought home scores of captives held in Iran, N. Korea, Venezuela, etc.; Re-imposed strict economic sanctions on Iran.
ALL THESE accomplishments are important. However, President Trump’s most significant achievement has been to make the U.S. energy independent. Being energy independent gives us much greater flexibility – economically, militarily, and in foreign policy. Those old enough to remember the 1970’s know the dangers of being dependent on the Middle East for petroleum. Back then, we imported half of our oil from the Middle East; Europe imported upwards of 75%. The Arabs had all the cards and used oil as leverage to strong arm the West. Twice, in 1973 and 1979, OPEC halted oil exports, and the world caught a bad cold/recession. Gas prices sky rocketed, if you could even find an open gas station. Gas was rationed to specific days. People parked their cars for lack of gasoline.
OUR DEPENDENCE on ME oil meant we had to maintain a military presence in the region to ensure the free flow of petroleum. For decades, we’ve faced one Middle East problem after another. All problems were the result of “they have oil and the rest of the world needs it.” Every president since Carter promised to make America “energy independent” - meaning we would develop our energy infrastructure to insure we wouldn’t be held hostage to tin-pot dictators and Arab sheiks whose allegiances shift with the sands.
PRESIDENT TRUMP isn’t solely responsible for our new-found energy independence. Over the past 15 years, technology has increased our energy reserves (we’ve discovered more), energy production (we’re extracting more), and energy exports (we’ve become a net exporter of energy). However, Trump reduced onerous regulations that allowed exploration, extraction, transportation, and refinement that has led to energy independence. Thankfully, we’re no longer dependent on foreign energy. Therefore, our military presence in the Middle East can be, and should be, greatly reduced. If other countries need oil, let them provide an army and navy to ensure their own energy. Let them put their soldiers, sailors, and airmen’s lives at risk. Let them deal with the radical Muslims regimes. In my Army career, I deployed five times to the Middle East. Fortunately, America is now in a position where we don’t need to deploy thousands of troops to fight the energy wars of other countries.
DESPITE OUR energy independence, the cabal of Biden, Democrats, and the media insist we must cease “fracking” with false claims it damages the environment. It doesn’t. We Americans like our SUV’s and pick-ups. We don’t want to return to the days of being held hostage to the whims of Middle East politics or the Jimmy Carter era when energy was so scarce that he lectured us to save energy by turning the heat to 55 in the winter and the AC off in the summer. True.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Energy independence is a perfect example of “elections have consequences.” Vote Trump to keep America energy independent. Vote Democrat to return America to dependence on foreign energy. Don’t believe me; believe Biden when he said he’ll ban fracking.
Sloan Oliver of Bolingbroke is a retired Army officer. Email him at email@example.com.