Thursday, February 28, 2019


Trump doesn't know who Talleyrand is. Neither does his crew of losers. Otherwise they might have followed up on the great diplomat's warning "Pas top de zele!".

In his haste to follow-up on his one-sided infatuation with Kim  Jong-un he chose again to count on his personal charm (!) rather than on preparedness. Obviously he wants to see the North Korean leader as a normalized interlocutor, towards whom he might actually feel a genuine empathy.

As usual he will try to spin this diplomatic flop as a victory and present himself as a strong leader rather than facing the truth of a snub. After having praised his interlocutor to the sky, absolving him of all evil, he is left with nothing to show for but the deafening sarcasm heard in Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing. Normally the blueprint of a communique or agreement is ready before such a meeting starts but here we have, yet again, the amateurs deciding to steal the show, with an outcome that could have been expected.

This administration chooses not to raise difficult questions, except with allies. One should not expect that Trump's son-in- law may have questioned MBS about Saudi travails or other embarrassing issues. Trump takes Russians and North Koreans at their is the rule of the White House game. To mention human rights is considered gauche. To be critical of Netanyahu's integrity is taboo since the president's "base" wants to barbecue in Jerusalem, till the savior lands...

For a former career diplomat all this is hard to swallow. The American pebble in the water originates currents which muddle other issues. If "the better part of valor is discretion" the supply thereof is running low.

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