President Trump appears to have struck up a healthy bromance with Viktor Orban, Hungary’s nationalist and conservative Prime Minister. The two met at the White House Tuesday, and the President congratulated Prime Minister Orban for his unapologetic stance against EU-mandated refugee quotas and defense of Christian civilization.
Trump described Orban as someone who was “great with respect to Christian communities” in a bilateral press briefing after the meeting. Orban pledged to cooperate on matters of international security with the United States, stating that “we are proud to stand together with the United States on fighting against illegal migration, on terrorism, and to protect and help the Christian communities all around the world.” Orban’s Hungary has been known for its foreign policy efforts to assist persecuted Christian communities across the world.
Orban’s such a likeminded leader to Trump that he’s already built a wall across his country’s border with Serbia. Hungary was swamped with asylum seekers during the 2015 European migrant crisis, and Orban secured the nation’s frontier to safeguard the lives and security of his nation’s citizens.
You’d expect progressives and liberals unwilling to accept a European political leader taking a resolute stance against mass immigration and for Christian values to lambast President Trump for his productive meeting with an important NATO partner. But some Republicans have decided to sign off on a letter with liberal Democrats condemning Trump for his diplomacy with Orban- among them Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
According to Rubio and Idaho Republican James Risch, Orban is an authoritarian dictator of sorts, despite having won reelection with large majorities the Florida senator could never dream of in his country on numerous occasions. Rubio shares the same sentiments on Orban as progressive billionaire oligarch George Soros, who was forced to relocate a pro-migration lobby group from Budapest after a massive backlash from the Hungarian public.
Rubio’s decision to side with leading European liberals and progressives in an attempt to try and isolate one of the continent’s few conservative and nationalist leaders raises real questions about his broader neoconservative political philosophy.
Baghdad Bombings Could Give Biden Administration Excuse to Increase US Presence in Iraq
The first major Baghdad bombings in three years happen on Joe Biden’s first full day as president.
Two suicide bombings rocked a marketplace in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 32 people and wounding over 100. As of now no one has claimed responsibility, although Iraqi military leaders suspect the Islamic State, the paramilitary group often referred to as “ISIS” in years past.
Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji said that the first suicide bomber shouted in the marketplace that he was not feeling well, and when a group of people drew near him, he detonated an explosive belt he was wearing. Not long after that, a second suicide bomber then detonated his own belt several feet away.
This was Baghdad’s first major bombing in three years, and interestingly enough it came on the first full day of Joe Biden’s presidency. Even the Associated Press pointed out that “many questioned the timing of the attack.”
“The US-led coalition recently ceased combat activities and is gradually drawing down its troop presence in Iraq,” the article reads.
The Jerusalem Post also writes that the bombings provide Biden with “an early opportunity to show US support for Iraq.”
“Biden has said that the US is ‘back’ and the world can expect the US to care again about foreign policy and work multilaterally to solve problems,” said the Post.
All this leads many to believe that the Biden administration will once again increase the US presence in Iraq, thereby dragging us deeper into a situation that the Trump administration had been eager to get out of.
This is not the first time that a Middle Eastern tragedy has coincided with a change of power. In March of 2017, two months after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Assad government in Syria allegedly used chemical weapons against its own people, leading to international outcry and the Trump administration’s unilateral decision to launch an April 7 missile strike on the Syrian government’s Shayrat Airbase.
Bombings and attacks have also been known to happen shortly after the US announces commitments to scale back military operations.
Perhaps groups like the Islamic State feel emboldened by such announcements and power changes. In any case, the military-industrial complex often uses such attacks to justify never-ending involvement in the Middle East. As of now, however, it still remains to be seen what they will do as a result of Thursday’s bombings, if anything. Fingers crossed that it’s not much.
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