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Today on Fox News Sunday, Outhouse trade war chest-beater Peter Navarro said:
There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. And that’s what bad-faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.
We spent two days to obtain a text and commitments. We will stand by them and anyone who would depart from them, once their back was turned, shows their incoherence and inconsistency. International cooperation cannot depend on fits of anger or little words. Let us be serious and worthy of our people.
Yet Mr. Trump chose precisely this moment to browbeat other democracies about what are, in the greater scheme of things, petty trade issues. Other presidents have understood that the United States has gained, disproportionately, from a system in which it helps keep the peace without keeping crabbed accounts on its national ledger. […]
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump remains indefatigably conciliatory toward Russia, which he proposed to readmit to the G-7. This is consistent with his admiration for strongman rule and with his transactional, amoral notion of relations with other countries, but it would contradict punishments that Western countries, including the United States, have just imposed for Russia’s unconscionable assassination attempt in Britain. And it would reward Moscow at a time when its interference in the 2016 election remains unresolved.
“We have a world to run” was Mr. Trump’s justification — which will come as a surprise to countries that have not agreed to be “run” by him, or Russia, or the other G-7 members, for that matter. If it is the United States’ portion, in partnership with other peer nations, to lead, that imposes a responsibility to do so in more than its own narrow self-interest.
Vexed by the criticism [of ending sanctions on Chinese phone maker ZTE after China’s $500 million investment in a Trump hotel in Indonesia], Trump struck back at the readiest targets: America’s closest friends and allies. Rule-of-law democracies cannot deliver the emoluments Trump collects from more authoritarian regimes. They cannot expedite Ivanka Trump’s trademarks to gain favor. They don’t book their national-day celebrations in Washington’s Trump International Hotel.
Trump is locked into a cycle in his top-level diplomacy: bully-cringe-bully-cringe. He bullies traditional friends and allies; he cringes to adversaries, dictators, and potential funding sources for Trump enterprises. Bullying the G7 was the weekend’s story; cringing to North Korea—and behind it, China—will be the story of the week ahead.
Is the God-King “[going] to war against democracies,” as The Atlantic’s headline put it, or against democracy itself?
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