Sunday 18th of November 2018

on the road to perdition ...

on th road to perdition ...

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There is currently much anguish in western capitals about the actions of US president Donald Trump. He is seen as erratic, unpredictable, and with an obvious taste in women of dubious morals. Such an emphasis is, in my view, misplaced.

 

Trump is certainly erratic. He is also astonishingly egocentric with a profound inability to distinguish facts for his own boastful interpretations of his role in influencing political events. The less said about his appalling misogynism and cavalier disregard for notions of marital faithfulness the better.

 

The focus on Trump the man tends however to detract from the policies of the country of which he is the titular leader. In this regard what we are actually observing is very much U.S. business as usual. That business may be simply stated: the preservation and extension of U.S. power, regardless of the destruction and chaos that such single-mindedness may bring to other nations.

 

There is much rhetoric, and not only from the Trump administration, but also “joined at the hip” acolytes such as Australia, about the importance of “allies,” and “friends” who share “values” and a common commitment to (a particular Australian favourite) the “rules based international order.”

 

The reality is rather different. That old geopolitical warhorse Henry Kissinger, echoing Lord Palmerston’s dictum from the mid 19th century, said, “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”

Changed Rhetoric Is Not A Guide To Changed Policy