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Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.

Mostrando postagens com marcador The Washington Post. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador The Washington Post. Mostrar todas as postagens

quarta-feira, 7 de novembro de 2018

USA-RPDC: bye-bye Premio Nobel da Paz? - Washington Post

Trump’s North Korea diplomacy quietly stalls

Rapprochement with North Korea has been perhaps the biggest foreign-policy achievement of President Trump’s tenure. But a number of quiet developments over the past few days suggest that there are major problems in the diplomatic process. Indeed, the United States and North Korea may have grown further apart since Trump’s historic summit with Kim Jong Un on June 12.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to meet North Korea’s nuclear negotiator, Kim Yong Chol, in New York on Thursday. According to the State Department, Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart were to “discuss making progress on all four pillars of the Singapore Summit joint statement, including achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of [North Korea]."
Pompeo said he expected to make “some real progress” at the meeting, which would be used to plan for a second Trump-Kim summit tentatively scheduled for early next year. “I’m confident that we’ll advance the ball again this week when I’m in New York City,” he told CBS News' Face the Nation.
Instead, just minutes after midnight on Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced that the Thursday meeting would not take place. “We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit,” she said.
It was yet another sign of how diplomacy has stagnated in the months since the summit. Pompeo has traveled to North Korea and held high-level meetings with his counterparts, much like the one coming up in New York. But at the working level, where the details are actually hammered out, progress has been slow at best.
The Trump administration had hoped to move things along by appointing a dedicated special envoy, Stephen Biegun, to lead negotiations. But Biegun has not yet been able to secure a meeting with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, who is supposed to be leading North Korea’s working-level delegation.
Many U.S. observers had chided the Trump administration for starting with high-level talks rather than with working-level meetings. Now, it seems that North Korea is the one dragging its feet on the more detailed negotiations. “My own concern is the leaders are so way out in front,” Joseph Yun, a former U.S. envoy on North Korea policy, said at a forum in Seoul last month.
The issues with this approach were reinforced last Friday, when North Korean state media suggested that the “arrogant” behavior of the United States could lead Pyongyang to restart its “byungjin” policy — simultaneously focusing on economic development and its nuclear program. It was effectively a warning that North Korea could soon resume the weapons and missile tests that led to so much tension in 2017.
Robert Carlin, a former CIA analyst and State Department specialist on Korea, wrote that the commentary was a new level of warning from North Korea. It “goes to the heart of Pyongyang’s concern that the US has been moving backwards, away from the agenda the two leaders laid out in the Singapore Summit joint statement,” Carlin wrote in a post for the North Korea-focused website 38 North.
The latest warning followed a number of other jibes from North Korean state media, including one that took the unprecedented step of criticizing Trump by name. As NK News noted, it was the “first negative casting of the American president on U.S.-DPRK diplomacy since the Singapore summit took place,” suggesting that even the high-level goodwill between Trump and Kim could be falling short.
For Trump, the breakdown in North Korean diplomacy would be a personal failure. The U.S. leader long suggested that he could solve the North Korea problem if he met with Kim himself — and he had a point. His willingness to meet the North Korean leader face-to-face this year set things in motion in a way previous U.S.-North Korea meetings, which involved officials at a lower levels, did not.
But as the Singapore summit recedes further into the past, its flaws are becoming more apparent. The brief, vague statement that Trump and Kim signed — just 400 words — did not provide a clear path for resolving the key issues in the standoff between the United States and North Korea. Both sides are still arguing over what “denuclearization” means and when it will happen, just as they were before the summit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before their meeting in Pyongyang on Oct. 7.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before their meeting in Pyongyang on Oct. 7.
The U.S. president, always an unpredictable speaker, is also reported to have raised North Korean hopes about declaring an official end to the Korean War. That would grant Pyongyang some legitimacy, but many in Washington oppose such a move because of its implications for the U.S. military presence in South Korea. A Korean Peninsula formally at peace might be one on which U.S. troops would no longer be welcome.
For Pyongyang, the most important issue right now appears to be sanctions relief. But that is fundamentally at odds with the U.S. position, which says that Washington cannot ease economic pressure on North Korea because it would lose its greatest leverage over Pyongyang. Just this weekend, Pompeo emphasized that the United States would not lift sanctions until it could verify that North Korea had given up its weapons. North Korea, though, is hoping for sanctions first to be lifted.
The larger problem is that both sides are divided not only over what happens next, but also what has happened so far. The Trump administration viewed the Singapore Summit as a triumph of its “maximum pressure” sanctions policy and portrayed North Korean denuclearization as a fait accompli. But North Korea believes it forced Trump into a meeting with the success of its ramped-up nuclear capabilities, an advantage it is unlikely to give up.
Can such different views of negotiations be reconciled? Perhaps, especially given Trump’s own personal investment in talks. With the political test of the midterms over, Trump is likely to turn toward foreign policy again — and any big moves will ultimately come down to his choices.

sexta-feira, 21 de setembro de 2018

The Washington Post se ocupa de Bolsonaro, como a Economist - Ishaan Tharoor

• The Economist runs through the other major candidates in the Brazilian presidential race:
“Mr Haddad, his likeliest opponent in the second round, has a bigger party behind him and was a successful mayor. He promises to put debt ‘on a downward path.’ But his party is less reform-minded than he is. He will struggle to shake the perception that he is Lula’s puppet.
"The other main candidates are less polarizing, and less likely to push voters into the arms of Mr Bolsonaro in the run-off. All have drawbacks. Ciro Gomes, a left-wing former governor of the north-eastern state of Ceará, favours interventionist policies of the sort that aggravated Brazil’s economic crisis, such as subsidized lending.
"Two centrists are mirror images of each other. Geraldo Alckmin, a former governor of the state of São Paulo, is competent and backed by an enormous coalition, which bodes well for his ability to enact economic reforms. But he is colorless and belongs to the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), which is among the most tarnished by Lava Jato [or ‘Car Wash,’ the major corruption scandal that roiled Brazilian politics]. More inspiring is Marina Silva, a former environment minister who was born into an illiterate rubber-tapping family in the Amazon and learned to read when she was 16. Ms Silva shares Mr Bolsonaro’s unwillingness to engage in pork-barrel politics, which will make governing hard. She is more likely than the populist to stick to her resolve.”

segunda-feira, 13 de agosto de 2018

Turquia vs USA, ou Erdogan vs Trump: um combate assimétrico -

Erdogan fights a losing battle with Trump

Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post, August 13, 2018

On Friday, the Turkish lira suffered its biggest one-day devaluation in nearly two decades, dropping more than 14 percent against the dollar. The minister of finance — the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — couldn’t avert the slide, delivering a halting speech that did little to boost confidence.
But Erdogan, as he so often does, placed the blame on a foreign scapegoat: the United States.
“Shame on you, shame on you,” he declared at a rally. "You are swapping your strategic partner in NATO for a pastor.”
The pastor in question is Andrew Brunson, an American clergyman who has been in Turkish custody since 2016. He is charged with espionage and other crimes — charges that he and U.S. officials reject. Attempts to win his freedom have so far failed.
According to my colleagues, Ankara hoped to swap Brunson for Hakan Atilla, a banker convicted in the United States for his role in a scheme that skirted U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil. But the Trump administration resents Turkey’s use of Brunson as a political hostage. A high-level meeting in Washington last week with a visiting Turkish delegation ended abruptly after the Americans demanded the pastor’s immediate release.
President Trump then announced increased tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel, which sent the value of the lira plummeting to a historic low. Turkey’s economic woes are of its own making, but the tariffs made things worse — and Trump was only too happy to take credit.
Erdogan continued his complaints in a New York Times op-ed, railing against “unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States, our ally of decades.” He recited the familiar catalog of affronts, including Washington’s unwillingness to hand over Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric accused of fomenting a failed 2016 coup against Erdogan, and continued American support for Syrian Kurdish factions. He then delivered a clear threat, urging Washington to “give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives.”
If the United States won’t change its approach, Erdogan warned, Turkey will “start looking for new friends and allies.” Indeed, the Turkish president has beefed up ties with Russia, attempted to mend fences with key Western European governments and, as a significant importer of Iranian oil, could undermine American efforts to isolate Tehran.
But this posturing will win him even more enemies in Washington, where Erdogan is already a deeply unpopular figure. Congress has passed legislation making a critical sale of F-35 jets to Turkeycontingent upon terms that include Brunson’s immediate release. Erdogan critics in U.S. foreign-policy circles loathe his creeping authoritarianism. And Trump, unlike previous presidents, has shown an endless willingness to bully erstwhile allies whenever he disagrees with them.
“Washington has generally tried to calm global markets in such moments, especially when investors are gripped by fear of contagion,” noted the Wall Street Journal. “Trump instead squeezed Ankara further.” This had global ramifications: Turkey’s wobbles stoked wider fears of fragility in other emerging markets and raised alarms among some major European banks that hold Turkish debt.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Aaron Stein, a Middle East expert at the Atlantic Council, suggested Erdogan had badly miscalculated the situation. “The power balance is asymmetric, totally in the U.S. favor,” Stein said. “There are no guard rails to escalation on the U.S. side, and that’s where the Turks have completely, completely messed up in their understanding of what’s going on in the U.S.”
Erdogan’s appeals to NATO partnership ring especially hollow, given both Erdogan’s testy relations with Europe and Trump’s carping about the alliance. "For an administration or a president that doesn’t give much value to NATO, the value of Turkey as a staunch NATO ally also has declined,” Jacob Funk Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics told Bloomberg News. “The Trump administration isn’t going to walk an extra mile to save an organization it doesn’t value.”
Analysts hope cooler heads prevail. “Turkey’s economic and legal problems are obvious, but sanctions by the U. S. are unlikely to help anything,” observed Turkish commentator Mustafa Akyol. “Rather they may be counterproductive, boosting Turkey’s nationalist mood and pushing the country further towards the Russian axis. More diplomacy is needed, not sanctions.”
But productive diplomacy is in short supply. Much of Erdogan’s politics now hinge on stirring nationalist sentiment to justify his tightening grip on the country. He won re-election in June with the backing of ultra-nationalists, arguing that greater control would help him steer Turkey’s flagging economy out of trouble. Instead, things have only gotten worse.
“The current crisis is the culmination of Erdogan’s reckless stewardship. Fixing it will take years — a task that will require new leadership and an entirely different mentality,” wrote Aykan Erdemir, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington and an Erdogan critic.
Nevertheless, even as Turkey suffers, Erdogan may not take much of a political hit. “Turkey’s toothless opposition ... fails to provide much hope,” Erdemir noted. “Without strong political forces to push him out, Erdogan will almost certainly continue to dig himself and the Turkish economy into a deeper hole.”
Trump also may gain more by refusing to compromise. He may relish the chance to act tough and appeal to his core supporters by squeezing a prominent Muslim leader over the fate of an American pastor.
“Backing Brunson plays to the American president’s base — all the more conspicuously so given that NASA scientist Serkan Golge, a dual Turkish–U.S. citizen, is also being held in Turkey, serving out a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for charges similar to those being brought against Brunson,” wrote Elmira Bayrasli, a professor of international affairs at Bard College.
Of course, she noted, there’s a key difference: “Golge is Muslim, unlike Brunson, whom Trump has called ‘a great Christian’ and ‘innocent man of faith.’ The Trump administration has said nothing about Golge’s detention.”

quarta-feira, 11 de julho de 2018

America First is America Alone - Ishaan Taroor (WP)

Trump’s NATO trip shows ‘America First’ is ‘America Alone’

Ishaan Taroor, The Washington Post, July 11, 2018

President Trump arrived in Brussels with a clear message: It is time America stopped footing Europe's bill. His complaint is not new for European leaders, who have weathered Trump’s attacks on the transatlantic system for more than a year, but it is becoming more and more troubling.
The NATO summit that starts Wednesday will be shadowed entirely by Trump's irritation with the alliance and the inability or unwillingness of many of its members to set their military budgets at the recommended 2 percent of gross domestic product. Ahead of Trump's arrival in Brussels, he issued tweets linking his antipathy toward NATO with his broader anger over trade relations with the European Union:
European observers are worried by Trump's linkage of the two issues, a position still based on a misunderstanding of how the alliance works. “If it’s really a threat linking security to trade, that can destroy the basis of NATO,” said Stefano Stefanini, a former Italian ambassador to NATO, to my colleague Michael Birnbaum.
“The fear is not only that Mr. Trump will spoil the ‘unity’ of the summit with harangues before flying to Helsinki for a far friendlier meeting with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin,” observed The Washington Post’s editorial board. “It is that, having shrugged off the strong support for NATO among his national security team, he is bent on wrecking a multilateral organization he regards as obsolete and a means for European nations to freeload at the expense of the United States.”
Meanwhile, Trump has also made a habit of rebuffing allies like French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on issues including trade, climate change and the Iran deal. The tariffs he has slapped on European steel and aluminum, which took effect on Friday, seem likely to trigger a trade war.
Such moves have “been corrosive to relations with allies who increasingly believe that Trump — on trade, NATO and diplomacy — is undercutting the post-World War II order in pursuit of short-term, and likely illusory, wins,” my colleagues reported over the weekend.
“It’s like your parents questioning their love for you,” said Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the foreign-affairs committee in Germany’s Parliament, to the New Yorker’s Susan Glasser last month. “It’s already penetrated the subconscious.”
After Brussels, Trump heads to Britain for a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, whose government could be on the brink of collapse over internal disputes over Brexit. He will then travel to Helsinki for his first formal summit with Putin, a meeting Trump himself has quipped may be “the easiest of all.”
Despite the Trump administration’s insistence that its “America First” agenda does not really mean “America Alone,” Glasser noted, “increasingly, it is.”
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One ahead of the NATO Summit, at Brussels Military Airport in Melsbroek, Belgium, on July 10. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One ahead of the NATO Summit, at Brussels Military Airport in Melsbroek, Belgium, on July 10. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)
In the months to come, Trump's stop in Brussels may only be remembered as a footnote to the Putin meeting. “Because the meeting occurs after the NATO summit, any achievements in Brussels could be easily wiped out by promises Trump makes to Putin on a whim,” wrote Rachel Rizzo of the Center for New American Security in Washington“Given Trump’s negotiating style, allies are rightly concerned that he may tell Putin that he will remove some U.S. troops from Eastern Europe, or halt U.S. participation in NATO exercises as a sign of good will. This would send European allies into a frenzy.”
There are also fears Trump could somehow recognize Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea. “It’s such a fundamental issue,” a senior NATO diplomat told Birnbaum. “It would legitimize a whole range of actions. If you have the power, the raw conventional military power, you can do what you want.”
“Now I’m depressed,” the diplomat added. “The fact that we’re even thinking about it.”
Some American allies have tried to push back. Ahead of Trump's arrival, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg offered a polite, if anodyne, defense of the alliance, published by the Wall Street Journal.
“After many years of decline, allies have ended the cuts and started to increase national defense spending,” he wrote, arguing indeed Europe is doing far more to buttress its own collective security. “Last year NATO allies boosted their defense budgets by a combined 5.2 percent, the biggest increase, in real terms, in a quarter of a century. Now 2018 will be the fourth consecutive year of rising spending.”
Stoltenberg concluded “it’s no secret that there are differences among NATO countries on serious issues such as trade, climate change and the Iran nuclear deal,” but he insisted the West’s shared history has “taught a simple yet powerful lesson: United, we are stronger and safer.”
Some analysts do not believe it is worth appeasing Trump's “bullying.”Europe's new efforts to beef up its own defense outlays will never satisfy the president, they argue.
“If the Europeans parked a brand-new aircraft carrier off the coast of Mar-a-Lago and tossed the keys onto the 18th green, Trump would simply charge them greens fees,” wrote Jeremy Shapiro of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “In the end, he doesn’t believe in the idea that America should defend Europe, so why should the United States pay anything at all? He is only interested in it if it brings in a profit.”
European Council President Donald Tusk holds a press conference in Brussels, on July 10. (Aris Oikonomou/AFP/Getty Images)
European Council President Donald Tusk holds a press conference in Brussels, on July 10. (Aris Oikonomou/AFP/Getty Images)
European Council President Donald Tusk, who has been outspoken in his criticism of Trump, made no apologies in a speech on Tuesday, where he mounted a defense of Europe before the start of the NATO summit.
“Dear President Trump: America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe. Today Europeans spend on defense many times more than Russia and as much as China,” Tusk said. He urged Trump to think more clearly about “who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem,” a direct nod to the coming summit with Putin.
“Dear America, appreciate your allies,” Tusk said. “After all, you don’t have that many.”

quinta-feira, 24 de maio de 2018

A Italia fabricando uma nova crise europeia - Sebastian Mallaby (WP)

Italy’s new government could be the force that finally breaks Europe

Europe has weathered so many shocks — the near breakup of the euro zone, the chaotic influx of 2.5 million refugees, the Brexit referendum — that it is tempting to dismiss the latest existential crisis unfolding in Rome. But Italy’s emerging radical-populist government could be the force that finally breaks the continent’s cohesion. When the man proposed as Italy’s new finance minister declares that “Germany has not changed its vision of its role in Europe since the end of Nazism,” it is time to wake up.
Whether or not Paolo Savona gets the finance job, there is no doubt that he represents the populists’ outlook — one that could have a devastating effect on Europe’s financial position. The two halves of Italy’s new coalition — the right-populist League and the left-populist Five Star Movement — disagree on many issues, but they are united in blaming Italy’s problems generally on the European Union and specifically on the Germans. After Savona’s outburst was published in an Italian newspaper this week, Matteo Salvini, the League’s leader, took to a Roman rooftop and announced on Facebook Live that Savona is “an economist, an expert recognized in Italy and the whole world . . . His only fault? He dared to say that this E.U. — as it is — doesn’t work.” 
This growling cannot be dismissed because, if shorn of the gratuitous reference to Nazism, it contains much truth. The European Union comprises one brilliant success (a single market that facilitates trade not just in goods but also in services); a series of useful collaborations (in policing, scientific research, student exchanges and so on); one brave but politically risky principle (the free movement of people); and one outright catastrophe (the common European currency). Britain is crazy to leave the European Union, because it is not in the currency zone and its flexible labor market allows it to absorb European immigrants effectively. But Italy is different. 
Indeed, Italy is the poster child for the flaws in Europe’s construction. It has amassed terrifying government debts not because it has the privilege of printing the world’s reserve currency (as the United States does); nor because it has a national central bank that can be relied upon to suppress borrowing costs (as Japan does); nor yet because it hid its borrowing behind Wall Street financial engineering and fake statistics (as Greece did). Rather, Italy has been plainly and openly reckless, because such were the incentives created by Europe’s monetary system. 
Europe’s policy mix acknowledges this problem. A single central bank with a single interest-rate policy links the borrowing costs of weak and strong countries, so that the weak can run up debts too easily. Recognizing this temptation, Europe has imposed caps on government borrowing, but these have failed in two ways. First, they have ensured that the main word that national politicians hear from Brussels is “no!” — no to government pensions, no to infrastructure spending, no to teacher pay raises. Second, because any budget rule is arbitrary, the caps have not been enforced in practice. They combine maximum friction with minimum effectiveness. 
Meanwhile, other European policies have actively promoted recklessness. The European Central Bank treats German government debt and Italian government debt equally, boosting the demand for Italian bonds that would otherwise be considered riskier. The central bank also encourages the presumption that, in a crisis, it would rescue Italy, dampening market discipline further. To get investors to believe Italy could plausibly default one day, Europe would have to break the “doom loop” between government and the banking system, so that the government could go bust without the banking system imploding. But that would require European-wide bank backstops. Despite much earnest discussion about centralized euro zone deposit insurance and a euro zone bond that banks could hold instead of dubious national bonds, neither is in the cards. 
In the absence of both political discipline and market discipline, Italy has — guess what — borrowed. When the euro was launched in 1999, Italy had a public debt to gross domestic product ratio of 105 percent; today it is 133 percent. The same incentives are evident elsewhere: In France, for example, the debt ratio has gone from 59 percent to 97 percent. When Italy’s newly elected populists promise to cut taxes and raise spending, they are merely extending the pattern. Their principal innovation is to be brazen about it — and to compare modern Germans to Nazis even as they flout German-backed deficit caps. This will only harden Northern European opposition to centralized bank backstops and so paradoxically entrench the doom loop that perpetuates those incentives for the Italian government to borrow.
How does this game end? In the short term, Europe’s economy is enjoying a cyclical upswing and the central bank is buying bonds via its quantitative easing program, so a crisis is unlikely. But in the longer term, Italy’s debt ratio seems headed into the stratosphere. When the next downturn comes, Europe may find itself dealing with a basket case many times the size of Greece during the last crisis. Greece was small enough to be containable. Italy will be too big to fail, and perhaps too big to save.

quarta-feira, 2 de maio de 2018

Premio Nobel da Paz: o discurso (preparado) do próximo ganhador, ele mesmo...

Acho que está muito próximo do texto que o próprio teria escrito, e falado.
Parabéns ao Dana Milibank. Penetrou na alma do grande idiota.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

President Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

“President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize.”
— South Korean President
“No-bel! No-bel! No-bel!”
— Audience at Trump’s Michigan rally Saturday
OSLO, DEC. 10, 2018
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee: 
I have received a lot of honors — like, a lot. I was on the cover of Time more than anybody else. I went to the best schools. I was elected president on my first try. It was the biggest electoral college landslide since Reagan. But people tell me this is a big honor — the biggest, maybe. And I think this is very good for you, because your ratings are going through the roof right now. This crowd is much bigger than Obama’s was.
People don’t know this, but some other top guys like Nelson Mandela have won this award before. He’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, even though South Africa is a crime-ridden mess that is just waiting to explode — not a good situation for the people! Anyway, with me, you’re breaking all the records. You’re welcome.
I love Norwegians! I want more immigrants from Norway and others who have the same merit-based complexion that Norwegians have. Why are we having all these people from shithole countries? Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out. They all have AIDS.
I thought I was going get this peace prize when I told your prime minister in January that I was sending Norway some F-52 fighter jets. People laughed and said the F-52 only exists in the video game “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.” But they aren’t laughing anymore, because we also sent Norway barrels full of Xbox Ones.
You’re going to need those F-52s because there are a lot of bad hombres in Europe. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? They’re having problems like they never thought possible. Germany is a total mess. Brussels is a hellhole (although, I admit, Belgium is a beautiful city). Have you seen the videos of destructive radical Islamic terrorism in Britain? Paris is no longer Paris.
The haters and the liars say I don’t deserve this award. They make up fake newsabout how I invented the country of Nambia, shoved the prime minister of Montenegro, thought the prime minister of Singapore was from Indonesia, mistookNew Zealand’s prime minister for Justin Trudeau’s wife, called Israel’s Holocaust memorial “so amazing,” admired Brigitte Macron’s body, rewrote the history of Napoleon’s Russia invasion, substituted a porn actress’s name for the British prime minister’s, mixed up the names for China and Taiwan, and had missile talks while guests at Mar-a-Lago listened.
I was, like, really smart, when I made peace with Rocket Man. By calling him short and fat and saying I would totally destroy him with fire and fury from my big and powerful nuclear button, I got him to negotiate. He still hasn’t given up his nuclear weapons, but he has agreed to stop calling me a dotard. In exchange I have agreed not to attack him, and I have given California to North Korea.
I am bringing peace to the rest of the world, too — peace from terrible, horrible and disgusting deals like the Paris accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The world’s shipping lanes are now more peaceful and quiet. Trade wars are good, and easy to win! I might give people peace from other stupid deals: the insane Iran nuclear deal, the terrible Cuba exchange deal, the worst ever Australia refugee dealbad-joke NAFTA and obsolete NATO. We have also made air travel more peaceful by making sure people from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen don’t visit America. 
On my way to the Nobel Prize, I knocked the hell out of the Islamic State, sent nice, new, smart missiles into Syria and dropped the Mother of All Bombs on Afghanistan. But those are only a tiny, tiny fraction of the countries I could have bombed.
I did not bomb Mexico even though they’re murderers and rapists. I did not bomb Canada, even though they are disgraceful about trade. I didn’t bomb Pakistan, even though they have given us nothing but lies and deceit. I didn’t bomb China, even though they are raping our country. And I have strongly supported the leaders of Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Russia, as they promote peace by silencing noisy dissidents. 
Your Majesties and Highnesses, people who worked for me once said “do not congratulate!” — but I fired most of them. So come on, get up and applaud. You are so lucky that I gave you that privilege.

Twitter: @Milbank