Most people realize that no matter what position President Trump takes, the left and the media immediately take other. With the plethora of Democrat presidential candidates all searching for voter attention, their common target is Trump . . . and the compliant press/media is more than willing to cooperate.

Currently, many of the candidates are claiming he is trying to get us into a war with Iran . . . so let’s take a look at that.

President Obama (and members of the United Nations Security Council, Germany, and the European Union) made a deal with Iran that included delivering $1.7 billion in cash to Teheran, the removal of restrictions on approximately $150 billion in other assets, and the release of seven prisoners and 14 so-called “fugitives,” in exchange for four American citizens who were being held captive by the Iranians. He did so, without the approval of Congress.

As a result, the agreement was not a “treaty” between the two countries; it was strictly an Obama-Iran deal that had no permanent standing beyond his presidency. When President Trump was campaigning for the presidency, he often stated that he thought the American people were tired of endless wars and he planned to stop them, and bring our troops home.

To that end, he has taken an approach to directly address a number of potential problem areas.

— He directly approached North Korea, offering a way for them to lift themselves out of poverty and hunger by giving up their nuclear arms. Past presidents have given millions of dollars in aid North Korea, only to see them continue in their aggressive ways. To this point, the president has levied “sanctions” and has not given them money. In return, we have had prisoners returned and the “remains” of some of our fallen American heroes have been brought home.

While it is too early to tell what will finally result, we are in a situation where the president is offering a road map to prosperity in exchange for peace. No bombs or bullets, but a step forward.

— President Trump directly confronted our European allies, asking that they fulfill their financial obligations and contribute the required 2 percent of their GDP into the program. Of the 28 member nations in NATO, only five were contributing at least the required 2 percent of their GDP into the program. The United States on the other hand, with the largest GDP in the world, had been contributing over 3.6 percent; more than double the percentage of most of the contributions of the other countries. No bombs or bullets but a step forward.

— He has directly confronted those countries who have taken advantage of our free trade policies, while inflicting tariffs on goods we sell to them, making us less competitive in their markets. He has not chosen to inflict pain on others for gain, he has simply asked for fair and equal trade. To this point he has renegotiated deals with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, and negotiations with other countries continue. To spur on negotiations, the president is using import tariffs to stimulate other countries to come to the bargaining table to work out fair trade policies.

Obviously the biggest negotiations we will have to do will be with China, a country that manipulates its currency for their economic advantage. A problem that will be difficult to overcome will be how to get China to reach an equitable (for both) agreement without China’s leaders “losing face;” that cannot happen. No bombs or bullets, but “bucks” being negotiated.

— In evaluating Iran, one must recognize that, for years, their leaders have called for death to the United States and death to Israel. They have openly said that if they had a nuclear bomb, they could wipe Israel off the face of the earth, and we would retaliate and they would lose a few million men. They said it would be worth it as they could afford to lose a few million people if they could get rid of the Jews.

However, understand too, that Iran‘s leaders have been calling for the “end times,” what we would call Armageddon. Iran is predominantly Shia Muslim, and Saudi Arabia is Sunni Muslim . . . and the Sunni’s are the much larger group. Each of these countries wants to be the leader of the worldwide Islamic Caliphate when the end times come.

I mention these things to bring some context to the issue; Iran is willing to initiate a war because they truly believe they will ultimately win and be able to rule the worldwide Caliphate. Therefore, their attacks on the oil tankers in the gulf, and their shooting down of our unmanned drone, are a willing aggression on their part. The fact that President Trump did not take the bait does not mean that they won’t keep trying.

President Trump exercised restraint on the use of bombs and bullets and is using “bucks” to influence and change Iran’s aggressive behavior. If their aggressive actions continue, the only answer may be bombs and bullets.

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident. He may be reached at bobmeade13@gmail.com)

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