Donald J. Trump, Diplomat

So the man-baby isn’t even president yet and he’s already got India and China pissed off. With his free-wheeling tweet-it-from-the-gut style and his inability to take in information from people that actually know something, a couple of phone calls is all it took.

If someone calls him to congratulate him on being a fantastic guy, that person is his new Best Friend Forever and can do no wrong, at least until some criticism from that BFF reaches his ears, and then it’s twitter tantrum time. No need to look at a map to try to figure out where the BFF is calling from or what our relationship with his country or its neighbors might have been for decades.

If it’s Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen, a really tremendous person BTW,  what’s that got to do with U.S. policy  in China anyway? You say no president-elect, or president, has spoken to a Taiwan leader since Washington cut formal diplomatic ties with Taipei and recognized the People’s Republic in 1979? I say, pffft. If China doesn’t like it well it’s #TimeToGetTough

The people who think Trump is playing checkers regard this as reckless blundering. The people who think he’s playing chess say it’s a calculated move to respond to Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. I’m holding off my judgement until it’s been demonstrated that Trump can correctly point to the South China Sea on a map without Kellyanne Conway in the room. Or until someone convinces me Trump knows how to play checkers.

Back in 2012, Trump tweeted,

“Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. We’ve given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? Betrayal and disrespect — and much worse #TimeToGetTough”

But that was before Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a really tremendous person BTW, called him to say what a fantastic guy he is, and, bingo, all that touchy terrorism stuff is forgotten. Never happened. Don’t worry about it.

According to the Prime Minister,

“President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems.”

What’s that you say? India and Pakistan don’t get along very well? Hmm. Well, uh, has anyone from India called to tell me I’m a fantastic guy? Not yet? Well, there’s the problem.

The good news is that Kellyanne Conway assures us that Trump has been fully briefed before talking to any world leader. Whew. That’s a relief. You had me going there for a minute.

 

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