Thursday, January 04, 2018

Allies: Trump is Worse Than a Laughingstock

Susan B. Glasser, Politico: Over the course of the year, I have often heard top foreign officials express their alarm in hair-raising terms rarely used in international diplomacy -- let alone about the president of the United States. Seasoned diplomats who have seen [Donald] Trump up close throw around words like "catastrophic," "terrifying," "incompetent" and "dangerous." In Berlin this spring, I listened to a group of sober policy wonks debate whether Trump was merely a "laughingstock" or something more dangerous. Virtually all of those from whom I've heard this kind of ranting are leaders from close allies and partners of the United States. That experience is no anomaly. "If only I had a nickel for every time a foreign leader has asked me what the hell is going on in Washington this year ... " says Richard Haass, a Republican who served in senior roles for both Presidents Bush and is now president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Over their year of living dangerously with Trump, foreign leaders and diplomats have learned this much: The U.S. president was ignorant, at times massively so, about the rudiments of the international system and America's place in it, and in general about other countries. He seemed to respond well to flattery and the lavish laying out of red carpets; he was averse to conflict in person but more or less immovable from strongly held preconceptions. And given the chance, he would respond well to anything that seemed to offer him the opportunity to flout or overturn the policies endorsed by his predecessors Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

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More from the article:

So what the hell is going on? I've come to believe that when it comes to Trump and the world, it's not better than you think. It's worse. The president is not playing the leadership role the rest of the world has come to expect from the United States, and the consequences are piling up. Still, it is also true that the world hasn't exactly melted down -- yet -- as a consequence, leading some to conclude that Trump is merely a sort of cartoonishly incompetent front man, a Twitter demagogue whose nuclear-tinged rhetoric and predilection for cozying up to dictators should be discounted in favor of rational analysis of the far more sober-minded, far less radical policies actually put in place by his team.

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-01-03 03:48 PM

Who would of thought that some fraudulent businessman and reality tv show star would have been a lousy world leader?

#2 | Posted by Derek_Wildstar at 2018-01-03 06:40 PM

But Putin loves him.

#3 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2018-01-04 09:23 AM

This is a good article. Thank you for posting.

The danger is in the Conservative lingo. It requires some cognitive dissonance to play along. When you ask people to fill in their own meaning to the chaos, you are doomed to have unfortunate misunderstandings. In global politics, that means lives are at stake.

#4 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-04 11:35 AM

"In global politics, that means lives are at stake."

Very scary for the whole world:

"You Can't Make This S--- Up": My Year Inside Trump's Insane White House

Donald Trump's small staff of factotums, advisors and family began, on Jan. 20, 2017, an experience that none of them, by any right or logic, thought they would -- or, in many cases, should -- have, being part of a Trump presidency. Hoping for the best, with their personal futures as well as the country's future depending on it, my indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency, is that they all -- 100 percent -- came to believe he was incapable of functioning in his job.

www.hollywoodreporter.com

#5 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-01-04 12:28 PM

Very scary for the whole world:

I've said many times, monkey with a machine gun.

#6 | Posted by REDIAL at 2018-01-04 07:43 PM

On the bright side there is now an upswing in the amount of people on the right saying FTS to Trump's presidency.

#7 | Posted by Tor at 2018-01-04 07:54 PM

Redial - just for you: YouTu.be

#8 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2018-01-04 08:44 PM

All it needs is the stupid hat.

#9 | Posted by REDIAL at 2018-01-04 08:53 PM

Trump's a joke but he doesn't give two caboodles what people in Europe or elsewhere think of him. 30% of Americans still think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread and belongs on Mt Rushmore. Says a lot about this country.

#10 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2018-01-05 08:18 AM

#8 Best summary of who elected Trump and the inevitable outcome.

#11 | Posted by bored at 2018-01-05 03:05 PM

Says a lot about this country.

#10 | Posted by CrisisStills

It certainly does.

Now, will enough of us agree on what that is before it is too late for next time?

#12 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-01-05 05:46 PM

WE are the laughing stock.

#13 | Posted by fresno500 at 2018-01-05 08:34 PM

It's good to know that other world leaders share our concerns. Hopefully they'll laugh him out of town when he comes calling for backup for one of his stupid wars.

#14 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-01-06 08:41 AM

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