Bolton Bolts to the Fore

As many voices express concern/alarm about Trump’s taking a congratulatory call from the President of Taiwan (including, incredibly, Charles Krauthammer), John Bolton has cut through the fog by saying that “of course” Trump should have taken the call.

Taking the call conveys several messages:

These are new days, China

I respect a country, Taiwan, that has done a much better job than yours in promoting democracy and protection of personal and commercial rights and interests.

I will deal with you and your country as I will with all others, without ancient political encumbrances. If Taiwan continues its wholesome policies of inclusion and rights protections, I’m with them. If you continue your country’s policies of personal oppression, territorial expansion, and commercial exploitation, we’re going to have problems.

Trump is always paying media attention. If he gives Bolton’s defense its proper due, Bolton well may find his way up the ladder of Secretary of State consideration.

(c) 2016 Gordon Osmond

Views: 80

Comment by koshersalaami on December 3, 2016 at 8:37am

On the face of this, I agree, though there's another factor to be taken into account here:

Trump is working on some major business deals in Taiwan. If we can assume this has zero to do with conflict of interest, I agree with you, but being as he is not severing connections with his businesses, his motivations will now be called into question any time he does anything, including taking this phone call.

Which is a pity, because I actually like the phone call for a few reasons. A China that tested Obama in the South China Sea (in the aftermath of Obama drawing a line in the sand about Syrian chemical weapons use, then doing nothing when Syria crossed it) will be a lot more hesitant to cross this guy. Though, frankly, the same would be true of Hillary, who is more of a foreign policy hardass than Obama is. However, the fact that Hillary would be in a similar position doesn't take away from the merit of what Trump just did, assuming he did it strictly out of public policy consideration. 

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