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Subject: Trump's year in foreign policy rss

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Wendell
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This Politico piece (link below) is longish but well worth a read. Trump is shredding every relationship we have had in international affairs - relationships and institutions we have spent the past 70 years building up, largely to the benefit of the United States. And in his fit of ignorance, cupidity, and greed, he's throwing it away.

Donald Trump's Year of Living Dangerously: It's worse than you think

Couple of excerpts:

When President Donald Trump sat down for dinner on September 18 in New York with leaders of four Latin American countries on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly, anxieties were already running high.

There was the matter of Mexico and his promise to build that “big, beautiful wall,” presumably to keep not just Mexicans but all of their citizens out of the United States too. And the threat to blow up the North American Free Trade Agreement. And then, a month earlier, seemingly out of nowhere, Trump had volunteered that he was considering a “military option” in Venezuela as that country’s last vestiges of democracy disappeared. Amid the international furor over his vow to rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea in the same golf-course press conference, the news that the president of the United States was apparently considering going to war with its third-largest oil supplier had gotten relatively little attention. But the leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Panama invited to the dinner remembered it well.

So, it turned out, did Trump. After the photo op was over and the cameras had left the room, Trump dominated the long table. His vice president, Mike Pence, was to his right; Pence had just spent nearly a week on a conciliatory, well-received tour of the region, the first by a high-ranking administration official since Trump’s inauguration. To Trump’s left was his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. “Rex tells me you don’t want me to use the military option in Venezuela,” the president told the gathered Latin American leaders, according to an account offered by an attendee soon after the dinner. “Is that right? Are you sure?” Everyone said they were sure. But they were rattled. War with Venezuela, as absurd as that seemed, was clearly still on Trump’s mind.

By the time the dinner was over, the leaders were in shock, and not just over the idle talk of armed conflict. No matter how prepared they were, eight months into an American presidency like no other, this was somehow not what they expected. A former senior U.S. official with whom I spoke was briefed by ministers from three of the four countries that attended the dinner. “Without fail, they just had wide eyes about the entire engagement,” the former official told me. Even if few took his martial bluster about Venezuela seriously, Trump struck them as uninformed about their issues and dangerously unpredictable, asking them to expend political capital on behalf of a U.S. that no longer seemed a reliable partner. “The word they all used was: ‘This guy is insane.’”

---
The Latin Americans who met for dinner with Trump in September told the former U.S. official afterward that maybe they should invite the Chinese into the region instead.
---

Another conversation, with Jared Kushner, the presidential son-in-law who had been given an expansive international portfolio ranging from restarting Middle East peace talks to dealing with Mexico and China, was just as troubling. Kushner was “very dismissive” about the role of international institutions and alliances and uninterested in the European’s recounting of how closely the United States had stood together with Western Europe since World War II. “He told me, ‘I’m a businessman, and I don’t care about the past. Old allies can be enemies, or enemies can be friends.’ So, the past doesn’t count,” the official recalled. “I was taken aback. It was frightening.”

----
Because a year into his presidency, this is where we are: Trump’s national security team and his allies are engaged in a silent conspiracy of sorts to guide and constrain him. America’s enemies in China and Russia have taken their measure of the man and are preparing to test him more decisively than they have yet ventured. Opportunists in the Middle East and elsewhere are taking what they can get. War talk with North Korea grows ever louder. And in Washington, the America Firsters have been purged from the White House staff—but not from the Oval Office itself.
(end excerpts)
---

The winners in all this are China, Russia, and autocrats. This ongoing series of misadventures shows that the Republican foreign-policy types that refused to sign on in support of Trump because they feared his ignorance, impulsiveness, and corruption would damage America's position and be highly dangerous have been proven correct - which probably makes them even more unpopular with the Republicans who have swallowed their manhoods and their earlier opposition to become a Trumpista, to the extent that somewhere in their shriveled souls remains a spark of knowledge that for the good of the country Trump should never have been allowed anywhere close to the White House, Neil Fucking Gorsuch notwithstanding.
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Wendell
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The Chinese can't believe their luck.

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Wendell
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Cohen's one of those. In a 'normal' Republican administration, he'd have a senior job.



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Oh this is the latest. Penis envy, I guess.

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Sue_G wrote:
Oh this is the latest. Penis envy, I guess.

oh dear.
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Josh
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Sue_G wrote:
Oh this is the latest. Penis envy, I guess.



This has to be fake, right?
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G Rowls
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He just got a massive set of military toys , he wants to play with them.

Snot fair Obama did!
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MGK
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when I've talked before about how the damage Trump does to the USA will be long-lasting and largely indelible? yeah this is what I'm talking about
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Chief Slovenly
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Can someone please, please drop a dime on his sorry pathetic ass before we all die, in the stupidest way possible?
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Vic Lineal
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Two news nuggets today:

- North Korea and South Korea to re-establish talks (ostensibly about the Winter Olympic Games, widely understood to be deeper in scope) while Nikki Haley and Trump shout and threaten that the US will ignore such talks and take action unless there is a unilateral dismantlement of NK's nuclear program NOW.

- Trump threatens the Palestinian Authority with stopping its foreign aid, something that would collapse the pro-Israeli security cooperation in Cisjordania, and in the process admits that he recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital to take that "off the table" and enshrine it as fact in advance of negotiations. Insists that Palestinian accept that fact and start negotiating on his terms or else.

Go Trump go
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Jim Rice
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Wouldn't it be great to wake up one morning and find Patrick Duffy in the shower and it turns out that the entire last season of the Presidency was just a dream.....sigh
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Sue_G wrote:
Oh this is the latest. Penis envy, I guess.


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Trent Boardgamer
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It's an interesting take, but I'm not sure international politics was/is/where it was from a non-US perspective.

China is already forecast to eclipse the US economy within approx. 10 years in any event. If they aren't talking to the Chinese, it seems short-sighted for marginal countries.
 
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Kumitedad wrote:
viclineal wrote:
Two news nuggets today:

- North Korea and South Korea to re-establish talks (ostensibly about the Winter Olympic Games, widely understood to be deeper in scope) while Nikki Haley and Trump shout and threaten that the US will ignore such talks and take action unless there is a unilateral dismantlement of NK's nuclear program NOW.

- Trump threatens the Palestinian Authority with stopping its foreign aid, something that would collapse the pro-Israeli security cooperation in Cisjordania, and in the process admits that he recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital to take that "off the table" and enshrine it as fact in advance of negotiations. Insists that Palestinian accept that fact and start negotiating on his terms or else.

Go Trump go


There is also the not so new nugget regarding Pakistan



Because rhetoric like this is always so good at persuasion in the world arena. Wondering if this has anything to do with their vote at the UN.
It is a rather stunning departure from his statements in Oct

Quote:
“The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wish that it do more to provide security in the region,” the president said at the White House. “They worked very hard on this.”

He added, “I believe they’re starting to respect the United States again. It’s very important. A lot of countries are starting to respect the United States of America once again.”


Remember the good old days when we had someone sane in charge of the US Foreign policy?


Did anyone tell him that Pakistan has been tacitly giving us free rein to assassinate people along the Afghan border for years, largely without regard to civilian casualties?
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Sue_G wrote:
Oh this is the latest. Penis envy, I guess.



To the best of anyone's knowledge, the only button on Trump's desk is a tiny one that summons a servant to bring him a Diet Coke, which he apparently uses a dozen times a day.

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toku42 wrote:
To the best of anyone's knowledge, the only button on Trump's desk is a tiny one that summons a servant to bring him a Diet Coke, which he apparently uses a dozen times a day.


Obama's photographer confirmed the button's purpose. If "the button" is to be pressed, it is in a briefcase.
 
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Trent Boardgamer
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toku42 wrote:
Kumitedad wrote:
viclineal wrote:
Two news nuggets today:

- North Korea and South Korea to re-establish talks (ostensibly about the Winter Olympic Games, widely understood to be deeper in scope) while Nikki Haley and Trump shout and threaten that the US will ignore such talks and take action unless there is a unilateral dismantlement of NK's nuclear program NOW.

- Trump threatens the Palestinian Authority with stopping its foreign aid, something that would collapse the pro-Israeli security cooperation in Cisjordania, and in the process admits that he recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital to take that "off the table" and enshrine it as fact in advance of negotiations. Insists that Palestinian accept that fact and start negotiating on his terms or else.

Go Trump go


There is also the not so new nugget regarding Pakistan



Because rhetoric like this is always so good at persuasion in the world arena. Wondering if this has anything to do with their vote at the UN.
It is a rather stunning departure from his statements in Oct

Quote:
“The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wish that it do more to provide security in the region,” the president said at the White House. “They worked very hard on this.”

He added, “I believe they’re starting to respect the United States again. It’s very important. A lot of countries are starting to respect the United States of America once again.”


Remember the good old days when we had someone sane in charge of the US Foreign policy?


Did anyone tell him that Pakistan has been tacitly giving us free rein to assassinate people along the Afghan border for years, largely without regard to civilian casualties?


I'm not sure whether your taking the piss or understanding the US rules of engagement don't care about civilians in other countries. Yer sure that 3 yr old was an insurgent!
 
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Bearhug78 wrote:
toku42 wrote:

Did anyone tell him that Pakistan has been tacitly giving us free rein to assassinate people along the Afghan border for years, largely without regard to civilian casualties?


I'm not sure whether your taking the piss or understanding the US rules of engagement don't care about civilians in other countries. Yer sure that 3 yr old was an insurgent!


Umm I was actually referring to Pakistan not making a big fuss every time a 3 year old gets killed, but you seem to be reading it as if I said "The US never kills civilians," which I don't understand how you could get that from "without regard for civilian casualties." That means you don't particularly care if you inflict civilian casualties.
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