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Trump’s Asia trip was a fiasco

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After making an ass of himself in Asia, Trump returns to Washington, with his tax bill in shambles, his poll numbers deteriorating, and Special Counsel Mueller probing ever closer to the Oval Office.

The Asia tour was panned around the world and everywhere in this country, except in bastions of Trump World, like Breitbart and Fox “News.” The reaction from countries Trump actually visited was unambiguously harsh. In Japan, the authoritative Asahi Shimbun newspaper, in a lead editorial, called Trump’s visit “unfathomable” and said his decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership “called into question” America’s role in “all of Asia.”

In South Korea, Trump might have expected better treatment from the country’s leading newspaper, the Korea Herald. It said he had “failed” because of his “vicious, hostile threats” against North Korea. “Put simply, Trump’s visit to Japan, South Korea and China — all major players in the crisis — has changed little” in the way of the looming confrontation with Pyongyang. He might also have been expected to be flattered by the Filipino press, but the country’s oldest newspaper, The Manila Times, slammed him on multiple fronts, despite the embarrassing love affair between Trump and the murderer, Duterte. “Many people were clearly disappointed” by Trump’s failure to talk about human rights with the Filipino president, the paper editorialized, while Trump’s “offer to mediate in the South China Sea dispute” is meaningless because “Trump himself has no track record as a mediator.” (This is despite Trump’s self-serving claim, “I’m a very good mediator.”)

Even America’s European allies were shocked by the scope of Trump’s disastrous journey. Der Speigel, one of Germany’s top newspapers, slammed Trump’s “arrogant belligerence and said that, because of his “alarming” behavior, “Dismay is widespread.” In India, which is profoundly interested in East Asian issues even though Trump didn’t visit that country, the leading Hindustan Times said Trump’s “zigzag diplomacy” in Asia made his trip “full of contradictions” and left leaders “confused” and “disappointed.”

Rightwing media in the U.S. are aware of the extraordinarily negative reaction overseas to the Asia visit, but they try to paper it over with excuses and distractions. In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, a conservative op-ed piece on the trip acknowledged that “Some of the world’s most powerful countries hope that [Trump] fails.” But, instead of asking themselves why England, France, Germany, India and so many other countries and diplomats were freaked out by Trump’s bombast and boasting, the Journal made the assertion that “Americans…should wish [Trump] success overseas.” This is what defenders of failing regimes always do: turn the discussion to patriotism and away from facts.  In fact, patriotic Americans should wish Trump failure, not only overseas but in this country, because the faster we can erode all confidence in him, the quicker we can rid ourselves of him and the danger he poses to us and the world. As for America’s success, it does not depend on Trump, although his apologists would have us believe it does. The real work of diplomacy goes on, quietly and thankfully, despite the vapidity of the American president. At least, so far, he hasn’t been able to do much damage. Foreign leaders know he’s a joke, and most of them expect him to be gone before his term of office is up. In the meanwhile, they play nice with him, roll out the red carpet as they would for any visiting head of state, and flatter him, all the while waiting, with Asiatic patience, for him to go away and leave us alone.

 

  1. Well, now that North Korea has sentenced Trump to death for insulting Kim Jong-un, things may sort themselves out. Hopefully without full-blown nuclear war.

    Geez, I’m tired.

  2. Dear Goddess, we’re all tired of this hideous joke of a regime. But we mustn’t cease resisting!

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