Reality check

Yes indeed, these posts will keep coming at a thick rate. It’s inevitable.

Israeli Settlements ‘May Not Be Helpful’ for Middle East Peace, Trump Administration Says

UN Ambassador Haley hits Russia hard on Ukraine

So what happens in week two of Trump’s term? He warns Israel that building more settlements isn’t going to be helping. Which is essentially the line Obama kept for 8 years. While he eases some sanctions on Russia, Trump refuses to unblock Russian assets in the US until Russia removes its paramilitary troops from Crimea and returns Crimea to Ukraine. Which is the line Obama kept for 8 years. And finally, Trump continues to shift America’s focus to the Pacific, particularly towards efforts to counter China’s expansionist aspirations. Which is the line Obama kept for 8 years (the Pivot to Asia).

I’d say spending some time in office tends to temper even the fringest of people, and get them back in line with the mainstream realities, at least as far as foreign policy is concerned.

There are differences, for sure. And significant ones, at that. The sharp tone he has taken towards China and Mexico, to begin with. It’s part of his “tough guy” and “business approach to diplomacy” image that he has crafted for himself (there was an insightful piece about this at CNN). The demand that Europe should contribute more fairly to its own security (fair point, by the way), and the insistance that America shouldn’t be funding everyone else’s defense (NATO) – which is an argument I’ve been hearing from left and right all over the place long before Trump appeared. The scrapping of the TTP, and possibly the blocking of TTIP until fairer deals are struck – which is what many people from both the left and right demanded for years. And then there’s that pipeline of course. Still, the overall trend points to something very different from what some alarmists are, well, alarming about, namely an almost-World-War-Three state of affairs, and the end of the world as we know it, to use that worn-out cliche.

Now, as for domestic policy, there’s no argument there – I’m afraid America is truly fucked.

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