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Op-Ed: “Do it Now“ – Trump Gets the Message by Fletcher Hall

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The story is told about the painting of the famous photograph of Theodore Roosevelt, still hanging in the White House, by John Singer Sargent. Sargent had been waiting for several days seeking to find a time when T.R. could pose for the portrait. Sargent ran into President Roosevelt descending the White House staircase. He again asked T.R. when he could pose. Roosevelt replied: ”now.”

John Singer Sargent's portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt

John Singer Sargent portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt

Baltimore’s revered late Mayor William Donald Schaefer was famous for his admonition to “do it now.” This take-charge, get it done attitude, allowed the city to improve and thrive. Early in the administration, President Trump appears to be exuding this approach, as many diverse actions are being taken quickly. Regardless of how you might feel about Trump, the “do it now” attitude in The White House is refreshing and welcomed.

Taking action is always preferable to inertia. The previous Obama administration often preferred to delay taking action, and this caused negative results, especially in foreign policy. This inaction was very very evident in the Middle East. The Obama administration was especially slow in taking any definitive action in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. By not taking decisive action in Iraq, that nation has reverted back to the rather ungovernable and chaotic quagmire which is not in the best interests of Iraq or the United States. A similar situation exists in Afghanistan, with the added threat of ISIS fighters being trained and exported from this essentially failed nation. Then there is Syria. The prolonged civil war there has resulted in one of the worst human disasters in modern history. The number of refugees who have escaped death and starvation is staggering.

Yet, the inaction of the Obama administration has allowed this situation to continue for much too long. Diplomacy has failed, and there is no coherent military strategy at work in this horrific morass. Essentially, Syria has become a puppet for Iran.

With the change of administrations in Washington, the Trump government will now inherit the results of the stagnation which has prevailed for the past eight years. Given the challenges, of a long-standing nature, it is essential that positions in the State Department are filled, and filled soon.

This confirmation of the new Secretary of State is most important. The sooner, the better.

Also, there is the relationship with Russia. It is complicated and questionable. Again, inaction and lack of involvement on the part of the United States was quite evident. Allowing the invasion and annexation of the Ukraine with only minimal United States involvement and assistance was a major blunder. The sanctions enacted by the United States were not significant and had done little to change the direction Putin has taken in meddling in the affairs of a free and sovereign nation. Perhaps another vital issue between the United States and Russia is that of oil. Russia, a large oil producer, is dependent on relations with other countries to export its oil to many nations, including those in Western Europe.

In addressing the current and potential conflicts with Russia, the new administration needs to adopt a “do it now” attitude. An attitude which demonstrates strength and resolve.

The current Trump administration has made several interesting comments regarding the United Nations and NATO. Both institutions need review and change. The U.N. needs to be less of a debating society and more action oriented. The divisions between the democratic and nondemocratic members of this world body are very diverse and self-centered. America has lost its leadership and its clout in the world due to its lethargy and vacillation in the U.N. The most recent action by the United States in not blocking the resolution against Israel was both a mistake and an insult to our closest ally in the Middle East. A review of NATO, its effectiveness, and financial arrangements, is in order. Established in Washington, D.C. in 1949,

NATO is a long-standing organization which needs to reflect worldwide military and security realities of the twenty-first century.
Even if the United States remains the primary world power, it cannot assume the financing of a multinational organization such as NATO. With participation comes responsibility. It is time the members of NATO examine this issue and make appropriate decisions. These decisions will be in their vital national interests and, hopefully, continued world peace.

 

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Letters to Editor

  1. Maria Wood says:

    This article appears to support anti-democratic and unconstitutional actions of the President. As such, it is propaganda and the Chestertown Spy should be ashamed to publish it.

  2. Jamie Kirkpatrick says:

    Haste makes waste, Mr. Hall. Our government was not constructed to operate by Executive Order, all the more so when the orders are morally
    and constitutionally flawed.

  3. Sorry to disagree. Schaefer dealt eith real estate developers and filled pot holes. He did a good, maybe a great, job, at least as Mayor. . We don’t need a ” do it now” precocious and precipitous president of the United States dealing with world problems,, leaders and countries armed with nuclear weapons. We are witnessing the results of his ” do it now attitude”. Maybe we are better served if he ” doesn’t do it at all”?

  4. Lolli Sherry says:

    Fast action without forethought or consideration for potential outcomes is what we expect from four year olds. Shouldn’t we expect something better from the leader of our country?

  5. JAMES B NICK says:

    One can scarcely grasp the idiocy of this latest blunderbuss of revisionist history that Mr Hall has treated us to in his latest op-ed. Just to pick one topic, Mr Hall speaks of how the Obama administration’s lack of decisive action, “allowed” Iraq to revert back to the “rather ungovernable and chaotic quagmire which is not in the best interests of Iraq or the United States. In fact, it was none other than George W Bush, yet another self-described bold, resolute and decisive Republican leader(?), that set the whole of the Middle East on fire with his fraudulent invasion or Iraq. It was Bush that turned Iraq into an ungovernable and chaotic quagmire and catalyzed the rise of metastatic radical jihad.

    As for the charge that President Obama was slow to take definitive action in Iraq, contemporaneous reporting (eg, http://world.time.com/2011/10/21/iraq-not-obama-called-time-on-the-u-s-troop-presence/) clearly shows that as one of his final acts in office, Bush signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government that set the clock ticking on ending the war he launched. The SOFA required all US forces be gone from Iraq by January 1, 2012. When it came time, ending the US troop presence in Iraq was an overwhelmingly popular demand among Iraqis. And guess what? After almost 10 years of war with no end in sight, tired of the returning body bags, and the endless redeployments that over-extended our military, the mood in this country was in agreement. We wanted out as much as the Iraqis wanted us out.

    Mr Hall even tries to lay the blame for the Russian invasion of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine at feet of President Obama, to wit, “Allowing the invasion and annexation of the Ukraine with only minimal United States involvement and assistance was a major blunder”. One can only conclude that Mr Hall can’t be serious. Otherwise, he needs to explain exactly how President Obama “allowed” (there’s that word again) this invasion and what he proposes Obama could have done to stop it. And along the way, perhaps Mr Hall could also explain why his president seems to have forged a bromance with a totalitarian adversary like Putin to the point where he not only denies the very Russian meddling Mr Hall complains about but may be about to lift sanctions that are in place so as to aid and abet further Russian mischief. Not to mention trump’s greasing of the skids for the demise of European unity and alliances that have effectively served us and world well in keeping the Russian Bear in its cage since the end of WWII.

    This is strength and resolve? Looks closer to treason if you ask me.

  6. joe diamond says:

    I like it!

    DO IT NOW!!!……………..Ten days into his administration The Donald remembered he considered Islam to be a danger to America. Without any research, advice or planning The Donald banned travel from several Moslem countries. Planes in the air were informed some passengers were no longer able to arrive. Persons in airports were returned to their country of origin.
    Persons arriving from war torn countries…persons who had been American employee interpreters who had finally escaped were refused entry. Airports all over America filled with angry citizens. Even though the acting attorney general refused to act on the travel ban The Donald announced….the boy kept it up…fired his lawyer…found another one.

    This, even though there is no evidence refugees have ever conducted terrorist actions. This, even though there is plenty of evidence that terrorists kill Moslems who refuse to join extremist groups. No nationals from any of the banned countries participated in the 9/11 attacks. In our name The Donald bans the arrival of folks trying to flee our enemies because, as Fletcher suggests, doing it now…..before any thought gets in the way….is the best thing to do…..JUST DO IT!

    Of course there is the response from the heads of other governments….the governments of out allies……..that, in summary, says they will think before doing what The Donald did.
    AND Iraq will now ban arrivals from America. Should we send more troops to Iraq they will not be allowed to enter the country……….AND, if I understand this travel ban, our ambassadors and military personnel will not be allowed to come home. Persons with green cards were eventually let in only after a federal court said so.

    Do It Now!

    joe

    • joe diamond says:

      joe,

      Did it occur to you that you missed the point? What if all you mentioned was a practice for a bigger power grab & change in American government? Could it be you were having so much fun dinging a Fletcher piece that you missed what really happened?

      Look! A government agency, The US Border Patrol ignored a federal court order to stand down. Green Cards….the equivalent of a trusted person certificate…were ignored. The acting Attorney General, the official legal adviser to the president…was fired for giving legal advice. The news cycle was redirected from ongoing debate & confirmation of cabinet appointees….THE STUPID WALL got moved out of the news cycle. THE CLIMATE CHANGE denial and the whole attempt to close down government agency scientific data communication….was shut down along with orders to government agencies not to speak to the news media.

      Ongoing “alternative facts” were moved along…..the world of Islam was truly pissed off to the point that IF they had not have been angry with America….they are now.

      Joe, stop kicking Fletcher…..The Donald is being controlled by others. Watch who is pulling the strings. His appointee is now in the national security council….watch…be afraid!

      joe

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