Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Method or Madness?

I, like most people, assume that Donald Trump is just an overgrown spoilt brat child who has no concept of his actions having negative consequences, it's all just "I want, I want, I want".

When he threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" or started the tit-for-tat tariff game with PR China, I, like most people, thought, Oh fuck, where will this end?

But possibly, he is a tactical genius, was just bluffing and planned this all along, headlines from the last few days:

North and South Korean leaders to meet for historic summit on April 27

Secret, direct talks underway between US and North Korea

China's President Xi promises to CUT car import tariffs as he buckles in trade war with Trump and warns against ‘Cold War’ mentality

Or possibly, he won't realise what a dangerous/stupid game he is playing and this will just spur him on to make ever more outrageous demands. Like threatening to nuke London if he doesn't get an invitation to that wedding thingy to which - if the MSM is to be believed - everybody wants an invitation?


jack ketch said...

I feel the way about Trump as I do about the Catalonian Putsch-daemon (or whatever his name is): either incredibly smart or unbelievably stupid. Which is not a conundrum I encounter with our own politicians- with the exception of Blo-Jo, I refuse to believe any one can get to be Mayor of London or, slightly less important, For.Sec and be the wiff-waffing 'insult old Johnny Foreigner' buffoon he likes to portray.

Pat said...

Mostly method- deregulation where he doesn't have to negotiate, tax cuts where he only has to negotiate with his own party, Imposing penalties in order to get improved deals all seems sensible to me.
My main worry is intervention in Syria in retaliation for an atrocity neither carried out by or for or to anyone who could be regarded as an American ally.
If the west wants to regulate the brutish behaviour of middle eastern potentates it needs to colonise them. A project which would be very expensive in lives and treasure, and would need continued political will through several presidencies to make work.
Since that political will can certainly not be guaranteed (Remember the Dems were onside with Iraq until they achieved office) the best course is to conserve American money and lives, which can certainly be put to use elsewhere.
The worst option- going in half heartedly- seems to be the one being proposed.

Bayard said...

Perhaps he's just very lucky.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JK, Johnson was quite a good (and/or lucky) mayor. Not much went wrong on his watch.

P, Trump's strategy won't work with Syria. Nobody gives a stuff about Syria, this is a proxy war between Russia and everybody who fancies annoying Russia. Putin is stone cold mentally ill and dangerous, far worse than Trump, he is fighting over and for some totally wrecked shit hole, the sensible response is just leave him to it.

B, that is the same as the second explanation. Or cuts across both - he might be a lucky genius or a lucky moron..?

Bayard said...

"Putin is stone cold mentally ill and dangerous, far worse than Trump,"

Apples and oranges: Putin is in charge, but Trump is, essentially, a sock-puppet.

paulc156 said...

For me a big red flag before his inauguration came during his briefing by military /intelligence and was the reporting of his repeated demands to know why the US military hadn't used nuclear weapons in previous military engagements. He couldn't grasp that.
Then there was his demand in meetings with national security figures last year for a tenfold increase in the US stockpile of nukes, obilivious of treaties signed by the US. It was after that
comment that former sec of state Rex Tillerson called him a 'fucking moron'.
So anyway I'm with Tillerson on this one.

MikeW said...

As other folks have noted, Daily Mash satire contains more understanding than our MSM.

Here the mere 'joke writer' tries to explian Clausewitz to our 'intelligence' led political masters.

DBC Reed said...

Why arent we supporting Russia in defending Syria from attack by jihadis?

Dr Evil said...

It is a very thin line between genius and madness. I think he simply doesn't care, shoots from the lip and treats everything as a business deal regardless. He is basically a mafia boss in his own way and behaves accordingly. He has a lot in common with almost any half sane Roman Emperor. They were heads of mafia type families too. If you see him in this light and not a politician or even a wannabe politician, it makes much more sense.

Bayard said...

DBCR, because the country that has armed forces stationed in the UK wants us to help the Jihadis attack Assad.

DBC Reed said...

The Jihadi onslaught seems to have grown out of the American discovery that they could get barbaric Afghan tribesmen to blow Russian helicopters out of the sky, followed shortly by Osama bin Laden relocating to Tora Bora and then half the middle East going up in flames, not forgetting the Twin Towers. Would n't it have been more politic to let Afghanistan go quietly lefty with land reform and gigantic hydro electric schemes on the headwaters of the great rivers rather than set off a clash of uncivilisations although "we" have an identity of interest with the Russians over a greater enemy as in WW2?

Bayard said...

Ah, but that would require a measure of wisdom in the power-hungry control-freaks we have for politicians these days.