, 01.02.2018 10:30 AM

The new world disorder

2017 was bad; 2018 will be worse.

That’s been my view for a while. It’s centred on a three-part thesis: one, that the West’s enemies will take further advantage of the anarchy Trump has caused; two, that Trump’s Mueller problems will dramatically increase in 2018; and, three, that the midterms will make impeachment a more vivid prospect than President Pisstape ever imagined possible.

So, he will be besieged. He will lash out like never before, and not just on Twitter.

And he will do what every unpopular president does, but he will do it in a way no other president has ever done before: he will whip up distractions abroad. He’s rather good at creating distractions, after all, and he will therefore try and create chaos internationally to save his orange ass domestically.

Does that mean war is coming this year? Why, yes, actually, I think it does. I think it is inevitable.

And this important Politico essay – the whole thing is here and you should read it all – by Susan Glasser persuades me that I’m not wrong:

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.’”


  1. Sean McLaughlin says:

    Good news: the media will not be bowled over like it was by the GWB administration on Iraq in 2002-03.

    Bad news: only about a third of Americans trust the mainstream media.

    Good news: Campaign Trail Trump had some pretty pronounced isolationist anti-war instincts, almost like a mid-Depression era Republican, and he was a draft evader during the Vietnam War.

    Bad news: you can bet that Trump whisperers know very well how effective the “rally around the flag effect” has been in boosting presidential popularity numbers over the past 60 years, at least in the short term.

    Good news: John Kelly appears to have compromised himself in service to Trump, but it’s still hard to imagine Mattis or McMaster going along with a truly nutty scheme.

    Bad news: Campaign Trail Trump talked up the value he put on strategic surprise (not that he called it that), which means that the handful of fellow Republicans with backbone will have even less of a chance to stop him if he decides to go for it.

    Good news: no president has ever presented a better case for invoking the 25th amendment.

    Bad news: pretty much every American president goes to war eventually, so it will happen somewhere sooner or later. The question isn’t really war, so much as how big of a war.

  2. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    The presidency, inevitably, changes people. Obama was pretty good on foreign and defence policy, having served in the Senate. Not so for Bush or Bill Clinton.

    The American Experience of Iraq and Afghanistan has killed outright the previous patriotic appetite and going along associated with reckless foreign interventions. Trump’s numbers are already in the basement — he will have absolutely no chance for re-election if he uses some concocted pretext for going to war. Only political power counts with him.

    That’s the world’s saving grace. He won’t be going into Venezula, Iran — much less North Korea.

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