Picture Diplomacy

Syria launched a chemical attack on its own people, and the world saw the twisted and outright sickening pictures outlining the aftermath. The pictures moved President Trump, too.

The difference is that the pictures moved the man to launch a missile strike against one of Syria’s airbases, and he probably did so simply because he could. That is a chilling thought, because behind his actions lie no real foreign policy or vision. Instead, it is a simple reaction to an alarming provocation and reveals a simple truth – the man does not have a coherent vision when it comes to foreign policy. Examples include: naming China a currency manipulator on day 1 in office, but never did; and, calling NATO obsolete, but now calling it essential.

Going forward, foreign policy decisions will be a reaction to a provocation, which may be real, perceived, or simply something President Trump happens to see while watching Fox News or reading Breitbart. We simply do not know, and neither does the world. An unpredictable man with little respect for critical thinking, let alone facts, can do a lot of damage. At best, it is hard to see how his temperament will bring tangible benefits, and the next round of pictures hitting the airwaves may result in a runaway reaction that brings about something far worse.


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