Trump’s Foreign Policy Mishmash

Donald Trump’s “big” foreign policy speech was a mishmash of his reasonable calls for American restraint blended with some bluster about unleashing military force, salted with some predictable Obama bashing, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

An indication of how far removed most of the current presidential campaign has been from intelligent and useful debate on important public issues is the speech on foreign policy that Donald Trump gave in Washington on Wednesday. It is such an indication because the speech was supposed to meet a higher standard: to be one of a series of serious statements by the candidate that would describe the direction of a Trump administration, in contrast to the bombast and invective that have been salient characteristics of this particular candidate’s campaign so far.

The difference between this speech and the rest of the campaign, however, was more one of style than of substance. Trump stuck to his script, competently using a teleprompter and hardly saying a word more than what was in the prepared text. There were no vulgarities or personal insults in this Trump appearance.

The general policy direction laid out was so general and vague as to be platitudinous, expressed in such phrases as “America first” (evidently with no intent to associate with the earlier isolationist use of that term) and that the United States should always endeavor to “win.” He called, again in general terms, for a coherent foreign policy, but the speech itself did not constitute such a policy.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The specifics, such as they were, differed little from what has been heard in bits and pieces from Trump earlier. Rambling at times, the speech was more in the nature of a series of bumper stickers, with well-tested applause lines printed on them, that had been stitched together.

The speech exemplified some unfortunate attributes of campaign rhetoric for which audiences have shown a depressingly large tolerance. There is no reason for Trump and his advisers to correct such attributes now, given that such faults have not kept him from getting where he is now, on the verge of clinching his party’s nomination.

There are, perhaps most obviously, blatant contradictions and inconsistencies. In this speech, for example, Trump described earlier Cold War years as a sort of golden age of American foreign policy but also disavowed participation in the type of international institutions that were a major and even indispensable part of U.S. policy during those years.

He called for beefing up the U.S. nuclear arsenal and more spending on U.S weapons generally but also stated that a major problem in the world is that there are too many weapons.

He complained that our friends cannot count on us, but also spoke about how they should rely more on their own resources rather than on the U.S. to defend themselves. He spoke about finding common ground with adversaries and turning them into partners, but while applying this thought to Russia and to some extent to China he took the exact opposite tack regarding Iran. And so forth.

There also are flights from factual reality—or in other words, making things up. Trump declared, for example, that Iran has “ignored” the terms of the recent nuclear agreement, a statement that bears no resemblance to the record so far of Iranian compliance with those terms. He labeled Israel as the “one true democracy” in the Middle East, ignoring the lack of political rights of a substantial population under Israeli control and making it less of a democracy than, say, Tunisia.

He declared that President Obama’s policies “unleashed” ISIS, which rewrites the history in which this group arose as a direct result of the previous U.S. administration’s invasion of Iraq, and in which the group received a further boost when a civil war, not started by any U.S. administration, broke out in Syria.

He also blamed the North Korean nuclear problem on Obama, ignoring the history in which that country’s big progress toward a bomb occurred after the Bush administration effectively junked an agreement that had been reached with North Korea under the Clinton administration. He declared any reference to an inflammatory video in Libya as a “total lie,” whereas in fact there was such a video and it had a substantial effect in stoking popular furor that extremists in that country exploited. And so forth.

Another common pattern has been excoriation of an incumbent while saying and recommending many of the same things that the incumbent is saying and doing. There was plenty of both—excoriating Obama while imitating him—in this speech.

Trump’s hopeful remarks about relations with Russia sounded a lot like the Obama administration’s “reset” of that relationship. Trump’s call to upgrade the U.S. nuclear arsenal sounded a lot like the nuclear modernization program on which the Obama administration already—to the chagrin of many Democrats—has embarked.

Trump’s comments about allies not paying their fair share was a paraphrase of what Obama has said about free riders. A call by Trump for “restraint” in dealing with conflicts overseas sounded a lot like the approach the Obama administration is taking in Syria. Trump also made a big point about how opposed he supposedly was to the Iraq War, once again ignoring that Barack Obama was more clearly and earlier on the right side of that issue than Trump was.

There is a lot of what can best be described as emoting, without any serious effort to make it a real debate about policy. One familiar example in this speech was the criticism of both Obama and Hillary Clinton for not “naming the enemy” of radical Islam. Once again nothing was said about what the likely practical effects of a particular choice of words on this subject would be. Nor was there the slightest evidence introduced that the President and former Secretary of State do not understand at least as well as their political opponents the nature of this particular enemy, however more careful they are in their public choice of words.

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisior Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisior Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

And there was also the pattern of making promises about obtaining results without giving the slightest idea of how those results would be attained. Probably the clearest example of this in Trump’s speech was his declaration that ISIS “will be gone quickly” if he were to become president. He didn’t say “where” or “when” he would so something — or even what he would do — to bring about this happy result, or how anything he would do would be any different from what is being done now.

“We have to be unpredictable,” Trump said. Evidently a U.S. president has to be unpredictable to the American people and not just to ISIS.

If the purpose of Trump’s appearance this week was to check a box for “a major foreign policy speech” without straying far from the sort of slogans that in even more disjointed form have gotten Trump to where he is today, then the speech served that purpose. But it left us without a clear idea of what the foreign policy of an administration headed by this intentionally unpredictable would-be president really would look like.

The deficiencies go beyond Trump himself. Some of the patterns mentioned above have been visible in some form in American political rhetoric for a long time. Trump’s most visible contributions may have been the insults and vulgarities. Much of the rest already was there.

The contest for the GOP nomination, which much of the time has resembled the Jerry Springer Show more than a serious debate about public policy, has ripened what was there. And Trump has exploited the mess.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

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24 comments for “Trump’s Foreign Policy Mishmash

  1. Sally Snyder
    April 29, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Here is an article that looks at Bernie Sanders’ very cogent foreign policy:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/03/bernie-sanders-cogent-foreign-policy.html

    Mr. Sanders has a decades-long record of clearly understanding America’s role on the global stage.

    • Herman
      May 1, 2016 at 9:21 am

      “He declared that President Obama’s policies “unleashed” ISIS, which rewrites the history in which this group arose as a direct result of the previous U.S. administration’s invasion of Iraq, and in which the group received a further boost when a civil war, not started by any U.S. administration, broke out in Syria.”

      If we called the CIA office in Virginia and asked them if they had anything to do with the start of the “civil war” in Syria, I suppose they would agree that the US had nothing to do with its genesis.

      I don’t think that even the Assad Must Go crowd would accept that as being entirely or even partially accurate. Of course, we are unlikely to know what the CIA was doing in Deraa when the riots started, but we do know what they were doing before and since.

      I hate to see the narrative that is suggested be commonly accepted, that we were drawn in after the fact.

      As to our role in the formation of ISIS, that began a long time ago in Muslim areas within the borders of the USSR, and really got rolling when we joined the Saudis to throw the USSR out of Afghanistan.

      • Bart Gruzalski
        May 2, 2016 at 2:43 pm

        Herman, I generally agree with your comment and disagree, in the main, with the article on which we are commenting.

        For example, the author writes; “He called for beefing up the U.S. nuclear arsenal and more spending on U.S weapons generally but also stated that a major problem in the world is that there are too many weapons.” There’s nothing inconsistent there. One can wish that there were fewer or no nuclear weapons while ;upgrading nuclear weapons to keep up with others. Keeping up, for security, is consistent with wanting a policy of reduction.

        Your comment on Israel is accurate and disturbing: “There also are flights from factual reality…. He labeled Israel as the “one true democracy” in the Middle East, ignoring the lack of political rights of a substantial population under Israeli control and making it less of a democracy than, say, Tunisia.

        Is Bernie the only “level playing field” candidate? A serious “America First” policy would require not giving Israel $3B every January when we need that money at home. Clinton is an avid Israel supporter, however bad Israel’s policies are. The only person to stand up against this nonsense has been Sanders. I have hopes that Trump will, but time will tell. This does follow from what we would typically mean by “America First.”

        I also disagree with linking ISIS to bin Laden, the Taliban, or Al Qaeda. ISIS did first pop up while Obama was president–and he wrote it off as a zero threat. That long term “linkage” doesn’t really help, I think. For example, is ISIS inspired or motivated by bin Laden’s “Warning to America”?

    • Bart Gruzalski
      May 2, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Thank you for the link.

      Unfortunately the 2016 Sanders doesn’t seem quite so clear now given his affirmation of Obama’s 250 troops into Iraq and his support of the limited use of drones. He said the difference between Hillary and him on foreign policy was a matter of degree, not black and white (I think he could have cast the difference as black and white while holding the same position). He needs to be tougher in how he describes Clinton and sharper in drawing contrasts.For example, he’s an opponent of “regime change” whereas clearly Hillary is not.

      See: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Bernie-Sanders-Drones-Have-Done-Some-Good-Things-20160330-0006.html

  2. John XYZ
    April 29, 2016 at 8:38 am

    We may be on the verge of electing the nation’s first completely illegitimate President!

    At one level it’s understandable that someone would support Trump. Or Clinton. Clinton has years of experience; she’s held the highest of positions and taken on what many people believe to be America’s worst foes; she’s obviously capable and competent, some very important people say so; she has pedigree, and influence in some very affluent and powerful spheres; she’s poised to break the seemingly insurmountable gender barrier; all the usual nonsense won’t touch her. Yet when you don’t bind yourself to the superficial, you find a more significant level at which you’d come to a very different conclusion about her. Handed responsibility as the Secretary of State, every potential conflict which she touched turned into an unqualified disaster; with the chance to prove herself trustworthy and responsible in the emerging digital age, she instead proved herself dangerously naive, unable to follow rules, and even a threat to national security; with the chance to show that she was a meaningful representative of the Democratic party’s values, her history shows that she actually whiffed on a few key issues; put in a position to show that she’s worthy beyond just being hungry for power, she’s done everything but running a fair, clean, and well-grounded campaign.

    A similar picture can be painted of Trump – he’s wealthy and un-bought, a true symbol of American success; he can do whatever he thinks is right, and even his worst critics can’t bring him down for it; he can get things done, yet he still understands that what we have right now isn’t getting it done; he’ll say what’s on his mind, and not let people’s brittle emotions stop him; he believes in that silly common sense pragmatism that everyone else says isn’t fancy-pants enough to utter. And his greater failings I won’t even cover, because people, Mr. Pillar included, have gone to great lengths to discuss them in ways I can’t even begin to do justice to here.

    When people are afraid, stressed, or pessimistic, sometimes they’ll switch to more simplistic thinking. They’ll see the shallow picture and miss the more telling one. There are different levels of criteria, and Clinton and Trump have been capitalizing on the simplistic one, even if they’re horrible picks in the “real” game.

    There’s a sort of circular reasoning in play here – we’re supposed to believe that Clinton and Trump are the people who should be supported, on the basis of the fact that they’re currently winning the contest for support. All the while, we’re supposed to ignore that we’d be supporting garbage. It’s the same sort of fallacy which led to the housing crisis (sorry, I watched the Big Short a few weeks back), in which we were supposed to believe that the housing market was secure because the housing market was a certainty, while ignoring the fact that it wasn’t.

    If Clinton and Trump are our top candidates, it’s because the contest has become little more than a popularity contest. As far as popularity contests go, the thing that’s the most popular these days seems to be not having to face up to one’s own oppressive and discriminatory behaviors worldwide.

  3. J'hon Doe II
    April 29, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Donald Trump is the inimical wild card and a near-perfect fit for Marley’s song, “I Shot the Sheriff” —
    His presidential run is a gunshot against the GOP establishment. He is an outlandish outlaw vis-a-vis political deportment/protocol, yet he seems on the way to becoming Republican presidential candidate.

    Political malfeasance since Reagan has ‘shot holes in the water bucket’ (as Marley sang) and the American populace has grown churlishly weary of politics as usual. Who can fault them with the down grades they’ve suffered while the 1% and defense department squander trillions of dollars.

    Mr. Trump represents a wake up call, a call to attention to the lies, corruption and deterioration of the social fabric in the US and the world, derived out of our sole-superpower status and geopolitical neoliberal hegemony – where ‘regime change’ and the constant call for “austerity” is rousing (and killing) common people world wide.

    If shooting the sheriff is a call for radical change, Trump (and Sanders) could be the spark that ignites a revolution of values.

    Sarah Palin’s shout to “Take our Country Back” was an beginning arousal that is now in play … .

  4. Dosamuno
    April 29, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Damn!
    Another article by a CIA analyst!
    Their analyses are lamer than the attempts at writing poetry by certain Moonies who frequent this site.

    Consortium doesn’t print articles about GMOs by ex-employees of Monsanto, nor elogies
    of nuclear power by ex-mad scientists from Entergy, so enough analyses from the CIA about anything–
    whether it’s about a murderous foreign policy that the CIA itself implements, or a pathetic domestic scene which the CIA itself helps to create.

    Ex-CIA agents do a pretty lousy job on Shakespeare too.

    • April 30, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      This Ex-CIA analyst does a pretty sad job on limited hangouts too:
      Paul Pillar: “[Trump] declared that President Obama’s policies “unleashed” ISIS, which rewrites the history in which this group arose as a direct result of the previous U.S. administration’s invasion of Iraq, and in which the group received a further boost when a civil war, not started by any U.S. administration, broke out in Syria.” http://ericmargolis.com/2016/03/hillary-haunted-by-libya/

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdPZBnNBVf4

      • Dosamuno
        May 1, 2016 at 7:02 pm

        Interesting comments. I agree in large part.

        Civil unrest in Syria was stirred up by the Syrian left—which has been dismantled not only by Assad, but also by the “good rebels” backed by the U.S. and its European colonies.

        Foreign intervention on behalf of rebel groups of nebulous origins, not from the indigenous Syrian left, has fueled the “civil war”.

        ISIS, like Al-Qaeda, is a descendant of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s creation in Afghanistan, the mujahideen.

        • dahoit
          May 3, 2016 at 12:54 pm

          There’s a Syrian left left?And why would the US support any leftists?
          Nah,its all jihadist instigated,with saudi,israeli and US support.IsUS,Al CIAda and al nUSrA.

  5. Agent76
    April 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    April 27, 2016 Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech

    Readers and foreign news organizations are asking me the meaning of Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech. On the surface, his speech is contradictory. Trump says he will rebuild US military might so that America will always be first. Yet Trump emphasizes that “we want to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China.” In a multi-polar world, there is no first country.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/04/27/donald-trumps-foreign-policy-speech-paul-craig-roberts?/

  6. Brad Benson
    April 29, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Of course it was red meat, Trump Steaks for all! He has to get elected Paul. Ask yourself why the so-called foreign policy experts and intel community people are fearful of him. It’s because they fear losing their power and influence.

    The most important signal that Trump has consistently sent is that he will talk to Putin and work with Russia and China. Both the Russians and the Chinese will be glad to get Trump over Hillary Clinton. Additionally, Trump may be strong enough to take on the embedded Fascists, Israel-First Fifth Columnists, and outright scum that now control things inside the Beltway.

    Unfortunately, if he does try to do what I think he will, he’ll get the same treatment from the CIA that JFK received.

  7. LJ
    April 29, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    The foreign policy of the Obama Administration has been very aggressive and that is not what he campaigned on. Africom, Centcom now they got a new branch that just looks over covert operations and do not forget that Obama has lit a fire under NATo also.Would Trump do different? Would he listen to NeoCons .? Who knows but we all know Hillary will , Pick your poison. The Devil we Know is pretty bad. Iran will remain a scapegoat and Russia will be an ‘enemy’ and China will be a rising threat to US world Domination whoever gets elected.

  8. David G
    April 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Trump’s ignorance is profound, but among the things he doesn’t know are the various bellicose, imperialist tropes that pass as inarguably true in Washington. For me, that combination is on balance preferable to Beltway-approved experience and knowledge.

    I expect that the next few months will see Trump gradually molded into a simulacrum of a more typical U.S. presidential contender (i.e. trained to commit at least two war crimes before breakfast), but even that will be better than someone like Hillary, who is authentically straining at the bit for the chance to perpetrate fresh slaughter in the Middle East, roll back democracy in Latin America, and push Russia to the brink, or beyond.

  9. April 29, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    I completely disagree with Paul Pillar here.

    I think Trump’s foreign policy speech was quite consistent, and encouraging. Of course, there was boiler plate populism in it, and I for myself like more the sober way that Sanders speaks about and which is backed by his record, but the main resulting difference I see as Sanders being 300 delegates behind, while Trump is 400 delegates in front. So, I’ld think one has to compare what Trump says to what Clinton says. Clinton doesn’t say much about foreign policy recently, because foreign policy seems to have become one of her weak points, but take eg her speech to the CFR on Nov 19, 2015, and compare that to Trump’s speech.

    Trump sounded a lot better than Clinton. Take Syria: Clinton said, Assad must go, while Trump said not one bad word – not one word at all – on Assad. Instead Trump shamed the US on allowing radical Islamists commit persecution and even genocide against Christians in the middle east, called the US attempts to spread democracy in the ME a dangerous idea and suggested to take a closer look at the people there to find out who of them are really radical islamist terrorists and who are those whom the US can work with. It’s easy to see where this can lead to: it’s very clear that the main protector of Christians against genocide in Syria is Assad – supported by Russia, Iran and not to forget – ask Lebanese Christians – Hezbollah. And those sectarian guys who were about to commit genocide against Christians if they could, who are they: Isis, Alqaeda and their wahhabi associates supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. And now see what Trump said on Russia: he wants a deal with Russia to work together fighting radical Islamic terrorism – what Trump says is also a philosophical struggle. On Iran, Trump blustered and blustered, but in the end just promised he won’t allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon. No problem here, because Iran doesn’t do that anyway. And Hezbollah he didn’t mention at all – just like Assad. But he said old enemies could become partners. So Trump has an effective way forward to fight Isis effectively – though he declined to name it: team up with Putin, Assad, Iran & in effect, even with Hezbollah. Halleluyah! Compare that to Clinton.

    Similar it’s with NATO. Trump says NATO allies have to pay a share of 2% GDP or they should defend themselves. But it’s clear Europe won’t increase their defense budgets to 2% GDP – they can’t, because their budgets are stretched to the limits due to the Euro crisis. So, if Trump makes good on his promise to leave Europe to defend itself he breaks all imperial ambitions of NATO with that – or even NATO itself. Of course, Trump cannot say now he intends to decline US military spending, but if the US has no allies it needs to defend anymore, there is no sense at all in spending more on US military – better build US infrastructure with all that money – which seems to be where his policy leads to. Halleluyah! Compare that to Clinton.

    Take trade. Trump says he wants a new trade agreement with China to balance the US trade defecit and get jobs into the US. China would also be happy with a new trade agreement with the U.S. because they are unhappy with their huge trade surpluses which they can’t spend. So forget the WTO, a new – more balanced – trade deal with China seems possible to the benefit of both the US and China. Halleluyah! Compare that to Clinton.

    And then take foreign policy staff. Trump wants new people with fresh ideas instead of people with a long experience in creating desasters. Halleluyah! Compare that to Clinton.

    So, yes, I see why the foreign policy establishment of both parties loathes Trump and his foreign policy speeach even more. It’s because Trump just gave them all his most famous message: You’re fired!

    And he is right: that message to the U.S. foreign policy establishment was long overdue. Just look at the series of unmitigated desasters they created.

  10. Realist
    April 29, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Campaign rhetoric is one thing. Actual American foreign policy is a completely different animal that usually bears no resemblance to campaign verbiage. American foreign policy seems to remain so static from one administration to the next that I’m tempted to believe that the new president is told by lifers in the state department, defense department and intelligence agencies that interfering in it is out of bounds, is not one of his prerogatives, on the day of his inauguration. The folks running the Deep State, whose powers seem to exceed those of the presidency, obviously want the New Cold War, the Worldwide Economic War and the unending Hot War in the Middle East to continue unabated, so don’t look for any more than “patriotic” pap to justify continued American aggression whether it’s Hillary or Donald in the White House. If either exceeds those boundaries, I’m sure the Kennedy Solution will be invoked.

  11. April 30, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Trump lost me when he indicated he would continue torture under his Presidency. His obeisance to Israel is also disappointing. So we are left with a Clinton who should be in jail with her predatory husband. If this is the best we can come up with to lead our nation then we are indeed in trouble. The fact that many government leaders are products of what is supposed to be our best universities, with all the right pedigrees, says something about our educational and moral decline and fall.

  12. alexander
    April 30, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Dear Mr Pillar,

    Something happened to “The Donald” on the way to the podium.

    Early in his campaign, he came out swinging with all that righteous populist anger every American went crazy to hear….. and boy, was he hitting the nail on the head, time after time…..he railed at the media for being a big bunch of phony’s…because they are…..he lambasted our foreign policy for making a huge mess in the middle east……because it has….and he even excoriated Bush Jr, and, by proxy, the Neocons, by coming out and saying clear as a bell …they “lied us into war”.

    Wow!

    This was music to the peoples ears, and it catapulted his candidacy leaps and bounds above the rest……he was riding high on the notion that he was, indeed, the “un-bought billionaire, who could and would “tell it like it is”.

    People believed in him because he was a straight shooter….and he was shooting it straight, on behalf of America,at the big liar’s at the top, who have made such a mess of things, and so engorged themselves, at the expense of the nation, in the process.

    Americans want their country back, Mr Pillar, and they saw in the Donald, a chance to take it.

    But The Donald of this last speech, was a different man, as though some queer spell had come over him, turning him from the brazen crusader with the bulls eye aim …to a neo phony boy of “the powers that be” . He seemed like a man now being molded and cowed into the very “cut out” with the exact same bogus platitudes and ideologies, he became so popular for fighting against in the first place.

    And everybody noticed it.

    The Donald needs to retrench, and either fire his speech writers, and handlers. or just pack it in, because he is going to be bowled over by Hillary in the general election.

    If he can’t find that mud-in-your-eye authenticity and fearlessness that wowed us all from the start, he probably won’t make it.

    The people want the Donald back, who saw through the big con,who was the firebrand, “punch em in the nose because they deserve it “, peoples hero.

    That “guy” is going straight to the White House, …..and the people will carry him there .

    • J'hon Doe II
      April 30, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      That “guy” is going straight to the White House, …..
      and the people will carry him there . >alexander
      ::

      We’re in an era and a place
      where a ‘Supreme Court’
      decides for & Legalizes
      state’s right to Create & Enforce
      voting RESTRICTIONS against US citizens.

      does the striking down of a Justice Scalia
      portend lesser freedom or greater equality?
      an increasing refugee status-0f-existance?
      fenced inside enclaves of military prisons/
      police precincts, poor schools / gang terror.

      This IS america “where the weak get diss’d
      every day” by means of targeted aggressions
      and methods of control/categorical separations
      upon the Darwinian biased structured hierarchy
      of power ‘naturally selects’ the keys-to-the kingdom?

      Trump making the next SCOTUS appointment
      would mean more foreclosure/harsher stricture,
      less self-actualization based upon fake “equality”
      nor ‘kinder/gentler’ promises but the realization
      of Huxley’s vision and Orwell’s Animal Farm.

      • alexander
        April 30, 2016 at 4:21 pm

        You may well be right.

      • Dosamuno
        May 1, 2016 at 6:51 pm

        Awful syntax, punctuation, word selection, and logic. Is this supposed to be poetry?
        I’m sure it was much better in the original Korean.

  13. John
    April 30, 2016 at 11:55 am

    The Pentagon, CIA, and State Department set the foreign policy in USA …..period. They use the office of President to sign off on their agendas by various stirrings of the pot until the President is brought over to “see things their way”

    • Dosamuno
      April 30, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Yes.
      And they’re assisted by CIA analysts.

  14. simon
    May 5, 2016 at 2:04 am

    The Trump popularity is hugely reactionary. The drive behind his supporter’s love is their hatred of anything remotely smelling of establishment – including the media, and all the ‘experts’ who constantly and arrogantly opinionate in articles like the one above . The author seems oblivious to the fact that the anti-trump force is the fulcrum that will hoist him to the presidency, just as it has given him victory in the primary…People are realizing that contrary to popular illusion we do not live in a world that is guided by reasonable and logical principles. The experts and the educated have had a long go at being our captains and the world as we have known it is disintegrating on nearly all fronts. Maybe it’s time to give someone a turn at the helm who wears his flaws on his sleeve and does not seem to coherently fit into any political spectrum.

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