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Hullabaloo


Saturday, December 03, 2016

 
Goin' Rogue

by digby
















Before the election I used to tell people that if Trump won, we would wake up in a different world on November 9th. This was because the rest of the world would see that the US, always powerful and sometimes capricious, would have totally gone rogue. Other nations would re-position their alliances and defensive postures and the post WWII framework that has kept us from global war and nuclear mishap would be gone. Trump's mere presence would have been enough to cause this.

It's worse than I thought. I didn't think he'd be this stupid:
President-elect Donald J. Trump has broken with decades of diplomatic practice in freewheeling calls with foreign leaders.

Dec. 2
Mr. Trump talks to the president
of Taiwan, becoming the first
U.S. president or president-elect
to do so since 1979.

Why it matters

The call with President Tsai Ing-wen risks infuriating China, which wants to bring Taiwan back under mainland rule. By honoring the Taiwanese president with a formal call, Mr. Trump’s transition team implicitly suggests that it considers Taiwan an independent state. The U.S. has declined to recognize Taiwan since 1979, when it shifted recognition to the government in Beijing. Taiwan itself has yet to declare formal independence. Mr. Trump tweeted, “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency.”

Dec. 2
Mr. Trump invites Rodrigo
Duterte, president of the
Philippines, to visit Washington.

Why it matters

Mr. Duterte has been accused of gross human rights abuses, referred to President Obama as a “son of a bitch” and declared his country’s “separation” from the U.S. during a recent trip to Beijing. (The Trump transition team has not confirmed the invitation, which was reported by Reuters, citing a Philippine government official.) Honoring Mr. Duterte with a presidential invitation implies U.S. approval of his behavior, which Mr. Obama’s administration had been working to curb.

Nov. 30
Mr. Trump praises Kazakhstan’s
leader for “fantastic success.”

Why it matters

Mr. Trump praised Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan since 1991, in tones that suggest approval for Mr. Nazarbayev’s strongman rule. According to the Kazakh government’s readout of the call, Mr. Trump “stressed that under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev, our country over the years of independence had achieved fantastic success that can be called a ‘miracle.’”

Nov. 30
Mr. Trump accepts an invitation to
visit Pakistan, “a terrific country.”

Why it matters

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited Mr. Trump to visit, according to a Pakistani government readout of their call. Should Mr. Trump follow through, he risks alienating India, which sees Pakistan as a major antagonist, and appearing to reward Pakistan’s behavior; should he renege, he risks upsetting Pakistani leaders who are sensitive about perceived American intransigence. Either way, the call could upset the delicate balance of India-Pakistan ties, which the U.S. has struggled to manage amid a history of wars and recent skirmishes.

Nov. 17
Ivanka Trump joins a meeting
with the Japanese prime minister.

Why it matters

Rather than inviting State Department officials to staff his meeting with Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, Mr. Trump invited his daughter Ivanka. The meeting alarmed diplomats, who worried that Mr. Trump lacked preparation after a long record of criticizing Japan. It also blurred the line between Mr. Trump’s businesses, which Ms. Trump helps run, and the U.S. government, with which she has no role.

Nov. 10
After brushing off the United Kingdom,
Mr. Trump offers a casual invitation
to the British prime minister.

Why it matters

Mr. Trump spoke to nine other leaders before British Prime Minister Theresa May, an unusual break with the two countries’ long-standing special relationship. “If you travel to the US you should let me know,” he told her, far short of a formal invitation.Trump also met with Nigel Farage, former leader of the fringe U.K. Independence Party — a slap to Ms. May. He later said that Mr. Farage should become the British ambassador to the United States, though presidents typically avoid telling foreign counterparts how to staff their governments.

He's just getting started.

Clearly he does not believe that all the delicate diplomatic arrangements that have allowed the world to avoid a major conflagration are worth anything. His own puerile, imbecilic conman patter is all that's needed. And nobody around him seems to care or if they do they are unable to dissuade him from wading into this without preparation or guidance.

We are so screwed.