Thursday, August 10, 2017

While we are divided

As the latest crisis of the Trump's Mouth continues, the various elements of the Trump administration are divided along the lines of Sanity/Insanity.
Senior American officials sent mixed signals on North Korea on Wednesday as President Trump’s “fire and fury” warning rattled allies and adversaries alike, a sign of his administration’s deep divisions as the outcast state once again threatened to wage nuclear war on the United States.

The president’s advisers calibrated his dire warning with statements that, if not directly contradictory, emphasized different points. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson stressed diplomacy and reassured Americans that they could “sleep well at night,” while Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said North Korea risked “the end of its regime and the destruction of its people” if it did not “stand down.”

“I don’t think there is a single policy at work,” said Ellen L. Frost, a longtime Asia specialist at the East-West Center, a Honolulu-based research organization. “I’m not even sure that Trump cares about having a consistent policy on any subject.” Instead, she said, the president’s fire-and-fury threat was a play to demonstrate toughness to his political base “followed by more nuanced cleanup operations on the part of Tillerson and Mattis, who are walking a political tightrope.”
That is a sure fire way to not impress anyone who is paying attention. One thing is certain, Trump has gotten Kim Jong Pudge to make some real threats and has his base properly scared shitless though they do not comprehend the real reason for being scared. In the meantime China sees a chance to ramp up its efforts to solidify its dominance over Southeast Asia while the Shit-For-Brains in Chief is otherwise distracted by his own brilliance.
With America’s Asian allies unnerved by President Trump’s threat to bring “fire and fury” to North Korea, China sees a chance to capitalize on the fear and confusion and emerge as the sober-minded power in the region, according to analysts who study the Chinese leadership.

In dealing with new American presidents — there have been eight since Richard Nixon opened relations with the country — China’s leaders have looked for a few important qualities, mainly reliability and credibility.

Even if they had doubts about a president’s affinity for China, if he was deemed “kaopu,” or reliable, Chinese officials could expect some stability during even the prickliest disagreements.

Mr. Trump has increasingly been seen in China as unreliable, or “bu kaopu.” His statement this week that North Korea “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continues to threaten the United States with nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles has only deepened that perception, analysts say.

But rather than make that judgment public, in the state-run news media or in official remarks, China’s leaders are sitting back, content to watch Mr. Trump’s credibility falter among American allies and adversaries alike, the analysts said.

“The Chinese don’t like North Korea’s nuclear program, but the current situation does serve their longer-term interests in eroding American leadership, because it provides a whole new set of circumstances in which America shows its weakness,” said Hugh White, a former senior defense strategist in the Australian government.

Mr. Trump’s threat has particularly unsettled America’s main Asian allies, Japan and South Korea, adversaries and neighbors of North Korea that have increasingly vocal lobbies for acquiring their own nuclear weapons to counter Pyongyang’s.
And the Chinese won't even have to work up a sweat, Trump will leave a hole where AMerican leadership was and the Chinese will walk in to fill the void. Is there anything vital to America that Trump will not destroy?


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