Foreign Policy

“This Guy is Insane”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

What do foreign diplomats really think of Trump?

You may recall an episode last summer when Trump casually tweeted a threat to use military force in Venezuela for some unspecified reason to achieve unspecified goals, but that was apparently more than just a tweet.

Politico reports that Trump discussed his hypothetical invasion of Venezuela during a meeting with leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Panama.

After the photo op was over and the cameras had left the room, Trump dominated the long table. His vice president, Mike Pence, was to his right; Pence had just spent nearly a week on a conciliatory, well-received tour of the region, the first by a high-ranking administration official since Trump’s inauguration. To Trump’s left was his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. “Rex tells me you don’t want me to use the military option in Venezuela,” the president told the gathered Latin American leaders, according to an account offered by an attendee soon after the dinner. “Is that right? Are you sure?” Everyone said they were sure. But they were rattled. War with Venezuela, as absurd as that seemed, was clearly still on Trump’s mind.

By the time the dinner was over, the leaders were in shock, and not just over the idle talk of armed conflict. No matter how prepared they were, eight months into an American presidency like no other, this was somehow not what they expected. A former senior U.S. official with whom I spoke was briefed by ministers from three of the four countries that attended the dinner. “Without fail, they just had wide eyes about the entire engagement,” the former official told me. Even if few took his martial bluster about Venezuela seriously, Trump struck them as uninformed about their issues and dangerously unpredictable, asking them to expend political capital on behalf of a U.S. that no longer seemed a reliable partner. “The word they all used was: ‘This guy is insane.’”

It's possible John Carpenter may have been a prophet. In the world he created in Escape from New York and Escape from LA, America is at war with a coalition of Central and South American countries that claim to be liberating America.

I expect Trump, or characters directly based on Trump, will emerge as villains in a great deal of upcoming fiction. Or perhaps non-fiction.

How could he not when he's using nuclear weapons to talk about his dick?

  • swift_4

    My buddy who is about to ship out said we don’t have to worry about Kim Jong Un. He’s all talk. I told him that I’m not worried about Kim. I’m worried about the guy who wants a war. Any war.

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  • muselet

    No matter how anti-democratic it becomes, the government of Venezuela poses no meaningful threat to (a) the region, (b) the hemisphere, or (c) the world. Donald Trump’s casually threatening military action against it is beyond insane.

    The Politico article outlines what happens when a president is a willfully ignorant and has the attention span of a flea on a griddle (h/t Charlie Pierce). If it doesn’t scare the poo out of you, you aren’t paying attention.

    –alopecia

    • I always liked the phrase “attention span of a hyperactive flea on speed” myself.

      Trump terrifies me. He’s the first *pres who has. Even W and his cabal weren’t crazy.

  • ninjaf

    It is just mind boggling that Republicans in the House and Senate just can’t seem to get their mind around how serious of a threat this man is.

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      It shows you how vile the republican party has become.

    • Victor the Crab

      As long as Drumph is there, hurting all the people – he, his dumbfuck base, and the GOP – want to so badly hurt, then they don’t give a fuck. And they’ll sit by counting their ill gotten bounty while the rest of America plays the Hunger Games.

      • Scopedog

        Yep.

        And meanwhile, the usual gang of idiots on the far Left (Goodman, Bragman et al) are still screaming about how Hillary is more racist and a bigger warmonger than Trump and that she’s going to be indicted for espionage.

        Fucking morons, all of them.

        • Victor the Crab

          Yep.