Just as Moses descended from the mountain with his 10 Commandments in hand so did Donald Trump gift the world today with his 55 page National Security Strategy, an event which daughter Ivankacharacterized as “yet another amazing milestone in this presidency.” Ivanka’s pitch to Fox News was that, “Normally, the president himself does not share the principles of the national securitystrategy.” Right, Ivanka, all the others have kept us in the dark, um, hmm.
As to the content of the #Peniswalla Address, or the Trump Doctrine, take your pick, it is not easily understood so, you’ll need a guide. The Atlantic:
Another way of exploring the NSS is with the mindset of a rigorous 19th-century critical student of the Bible. In the same way that those scholars dissected the holy texts for multiple authors (J, P, and E for the five books of Moses, Proto-, Deutero- and Trito-Isaiah for that prophet’s works) so too may one begin to see multiple hands in the crafting of this otherwise enigmatic work. Here too, remarkably enough, three authors emerge: the Trumpian Monarchist, the Deep State Scribe, and the Bureaucratic Redactor.
The Trumpian Monarchist.
The Trumpian Monarchist is, unsurprisingly, most evident in the cover letter inscribed with the jagged two-inch-high signature of the object of the royal cult. It takes the darkest possible view of this “extraordinarily dangerous world.” It warns an errant people not to “tolerate economic aggression,” even as it bemoans “unfair burden sharing with our allies” while celebrating its own “beautiful vision” of restoring America to its pre-lapsarian greatness. A prevalent scholarly view is that only this page-and-a-half bear the unmistakable and consistent hand of the Trumpian Monarchist, although his erratic mark reappears periodically elsewhere.
The Deep State Scribe.
The Deep State Scribe evidently wrote most of this text, making as he or she did numerous references to American values, the importance of alliance relationships, and expressing deep suspicion of the hereditary foe of the people, Russia. The Scribe, immersed in years of study of the foundational beliefs of the American foreign-policy establishment, faithfully reproduces them—believing, for example that the United States should “remain a beacon of liberty and opportunity around the world” or “protect religious freedom and religious minorities.”
The Bureaucratic Redactor.
The Bureaucratic Redactor had no easy task, for the Trumpian Monarchist and the Deep State Scribe did not see the world the same way. The Scribal tradition was more authentic and widely believed by the people, but immediate power lay with the Trumpian Monarchist. The Redactor saw his or her job as somehow reconciling these philosophically opposed worldviews by scattering absurdities such as “Competitive Diplomacy” and commandments to “catalyze opportunities.” This achieved consensus by confusion, as did raptures about the importance of diplomacy that neglected the demolition of the State Department, or denunciation of Russia without reference to its meddling in the 2016 election. The Trumpian Monarchist being only semi-literate, he did not compose (some believe that he did not even read, or read closely) the bulk of the text. But prudence dictated that he be bought off by making repeated references to “vetting” and visa restrictions, by scornfully tossing aside the false gods of previous authorities (such as climate change), and by throwing in all kinds of policies that have little to do with national security, such as rejuvenating the domestic economy.
This is a fascinating state paper, although most probably not in the ways that its authors intended. Of all the comments in the paper, the idea of the importance of diplomacy is the most ludicrous. The Jerusalem decision is indeed historical and the shockwaves from it are starting to reverberate. Mike Pence is getting the rug yanked out from under him everywhere. Palestinian President Abbas says he won’t meet with Pence now, the head of the Egyptian Coptic church won’t meet with Pence, and a meeting with the Egyptian president scheduled for this Wednesday has been cancelled. The Christmas lights have been turned off in Bethlehem and Christmas celebrations cancelled in Nazareth. So, yes, at the end of the day, Ivanka may be right — Trump has indeed passed another amazing milestone in this “presidency.”