APD Review | Perils of not seeing reason_Top News_Asia Pacific Daily

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APD Review | Perils of not seeing reason

Top News2017-10-13

By APD Writer Lu Jiafei Washington, Oct.13 (APD)— Days before he was expected to decertify Iran’s compliance with the landmark Iran nuclear deal that has so far successfully kept nukes off Tehran’s hand, U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged that there were different views in his administration. Unfortunately but reasonably, he then reminded us that ultimately his attitude “is the one that matters.” “That’s the way it works. That’s the way the system is,” said the former reality show celebrity on Wednesday before his meeting with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. To witness Trump’s less-than-nine-month presidency is like sitting in the front row watching an three-ring circus show. Something wild, confusing and distastefully engrossing is transpiring before your very eyes and I bet you want to put down that popcorn and hold on to the ramshackle chair. The president “enjoys a little bit of chaos” in his management style and you should not concerned about how he is running the White House, we were told by one of his advisors. Though top national security experts from his own party had long before warned us that Trump “would be a dangerous President,” we have remained optimistic till we realized how much chaos his gut instinct could incur. One month after Trump’s upset victory last year, I went to Duke University and met with Peter Feaver, former senior director for strategic planning of George W. Bush’s National Security Council. He was one of the fifty most senior GOP national security officials in the country who had before the Election Day signed a letter opposing Trump. Despite the palpable shock by Trump’s victory, Feaver still managed to ensure me, or maybe himself, that the reality of being a U.S. president would eventually change anyone, even Trump, and the impulsive man would become more mainstream and more presidentially self-disciplined. Becoming mainstream would mean that Trump, a political novice, realizes the limit of his knowledge and ability, and listens to and learns from his experienced subordinates. Becoming mainstream would mean that the president runs the country out of informed reason rather than his gut instinct. Most importantly, becoming mainstream would mean that like most of his predecessors, Trump does everything possible to shun war. Surely, Trump’s expected announcement to decertify Iran’s compliance does not necessarily sound the death knell of the Iran nuclear deal reached in 2015 between the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia, UK and Iran. But it puts the prospect of the deal in limbo, and every single observer of the Middle East would tell you that uncertainty, particularly when it involves nuclear weapons program, invites military conflicts. This month marks the 55th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, a 13-day tense confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union that is often considered the closest humanity has ever come to nuclear war. What always amazes me is how U.S. President John Kennedy then stood up firmly to pressure from U.S. military leaders to go to war. To my dismay, now it seems the opposite is true and I find myself nervously looking for reassurance from U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis every time the chest-thumping president declares something the opposite of diplomacy. Early this month during a congressional hearing, Mattis told lawmakers that it was in America’s interest to stick with the Iran nuclear deal. Mattis must have been thinking about war when he decided to make an unusual move to publicly contradict the boss. And his comments were the latest example of how Trump’s gut instinct raises concern within his own team. Long before Citizen Trump became President Trump, he once said that experience taught him “to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper.” I never doubt Trump’s intention to avoid military conflicts or even war. What I worry about, instead, is his heavy reliance on gut instinct to make the decision that ultimately and solely matters at the end of the day. Mr. President, please see reason and not solely follow your gut to handle security issues which matter to us all. Lu Jiafei, researcher of APD Institute. After spending one year in Palestine covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between 2013 and 2014, Lu moved to Washington, D.C. and covered the 2016 U.S. presidential election till the very end of Donald Trump’s upset victory. He is a political contributor to APD. (ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

By APD Writer Lu Jiafei

Washington, Oct.13 (APD)— Days before he was expected to decertify Iran’s compliance with the landmark Iran nuclear deal that has so far successfully kept nukes off Tehran’s hand, U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged that there were different views in his administration.

Unfortunately but reasonably, he then reminded us that ultimately his attitude “is the one that matters.”

“That’s the way it works. That’s the way the system is,” said the former reality show celebrity on Wednesday before his meeting with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

To witness Trump’s less-than-nine-month presidency is like sitting in the front row watching an three-ring circus show. Something wild, confusing and distastefully engrossing is transpiring before your very eyes and I bet you want to put down that popcorn and hold on to the ramshackle chair.

The president “enjoys a little bit of chaos” in his management style and you should not concerned about how he is running the White House, we were told by one of his advisors.

Though top national security experts from his own party had long before warned us that Trump “would be a dangerous President,” we have remained optimistic till we realized how much chaos his gut instinct could incur.

One month after Trump’s upset victory last year, I went to Duke University and met with Peter Feaver, former senior director for strategic planning of George W. Bush’s National Security Council. He was one of the fifty most senior GOP national security officials in the country who had before the Election Day signed a letter opposing Trump.

Despite the palpable shock by Trump’s victory, Feaver still managed to ensure me, or maybe himself, that the reality of being a U.S. president would eventually change anyone, even Trump, and the impulsive man would become more mainstream and more presidentially self-disciplined.

Becoming mainstream would mean that Trump, a political novice, realizes the limit of his knowledge and ability, and listens to and learns from his experienced subordinates. Becoming mainstream would mean that the president runs the country out of informed reason rather than his gut instinct. Most importantly, becoming mainstream would mean that like most of his predecessors, Trump does everything possible to shun war.

Surely, Trump’s expected announcement to decertify Iran’s compliance does not necessarily sound the death knell of the Iran nuclear deal reached in 2015 between the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia, UK and Iran.

But it puts the prospect of the deal in limbo, and every single observer of the Middle East would tell you that uncertainty, particularly when it involves nuclear weapons program, invites military conflicts.

This month marks the 55th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, a 13-day tense confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union that is often considered the closest humanity has ever come to nuclear war.

What always amazes me is how U.S. President John Kennedy then stood up firmly to pressure from U.S. military leaders to go to war. To my dismay, now it seems the opposite is true and I find myself nervously looking for reassurance from U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis every time the chest-thumping president declares something the opposite of diplomacy.

Early this month during a congressional hearing, Mattis told lawmakers that it was in America’s interest to stick with the Iran nuclear deal.

Mattis must have been thinking about war when he decided to make an unusual move to publicly contradict the boss. And his comments were the latest example of how Trump’s gut instinct raises concern within his own team.

Long before Citizen Trump became President Trump, he once said that experience taught him “to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper.”

I never doubt Trump’s intention to avoid military conflicts or even war. What I worry about, instead, is his heavy reliance on gut instinct to make the decision that ultimately and solely matters at the end of the day.

Mr. President, please see reason and not solely follow your gut to handle security issues which matter to us all.


Lu Jiafei, researcher of APD Institute. After spending one year in Palestine covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between 2013 and 2014, Lu moved to Washington, D.C. and covered the 2016 U.S. presidential election till the very end of Donald Trump’s upset victory. He is a political contributor to APD.

(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

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