June 3, 2017

ALWAYS BET ON THE DEEP STATE:

An impossible task : James Mattis tries to reassure Asian allies about Donald Trump (Lexington, 6/02/17, The Economist)

There was something almost heartbreaking about the questions posed by the audience to the defence secretary, a lean man with a craggy face, the cropped silver hair of a Marine, and a laconic speaking-style. An Australian delegate noted Mr Trump's dismissive comments about NATO, and his withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a big trade pact, and from the Paris climate accord. Should the region worry that it is seeing the "destruction of the rules-based order", the Australian asked. A member of the Japanese parliament wondered aloud whether America still shares "common values" with its allies, or just security interests.

This being a blog rather than a newspaper article, readers may indulge the author for quoting Mr Mattis's replies at some length. The defence secretary is not a dissident within the Trump administration. He is a loyal servant of a democratically-elected president. But in his defence of the post-war order, he was trying to tell his Asian audience that some principles and instincts are so deeply rooted in the American spirit that they can survive the swings and counter-swings of electoral politics.

We surrounded Donald with generals precisely to prevent him from doing anything meaningfully destructive.


MORE:
James 'Mad Dog' Mattis quotes Churchill to reassure allies over Donald Trump (Nicola Smith, 3 JUNE 2017, The Telegraph)

"To quote a British observer, from some years ago, bear with us, once we've exhausted all possible alternatives, the Americans will do the right thing," he said, referring to a quote often attributed to Churchill. "So we will still be there, and we will be there with you."

A clever way of saying your putative boss is choosing bad alternatives.

Posted by at June 3, 2017 7:34 AM

  

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