Just-Retired Mexico Ambassador Blasts Trump

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20 Oct 2018, 6:09 pm

My Year as a Trump Ambassador - Some disorder is normal at the start of an administration. But it was extreme under Mr. Trump.

President Trump has triumphantly declared his replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement to be a major improvement over the original. I have my doubts, as do many experts, including some Republicans. But even the skeptics are relieved that the heart of the 25-year-old trade pact remains intact.

The back story of Mr. Trump’s campaign to dismantle Nafta is not just about his obsession with one agreement. It is also a window into a chaotic decision-making style that has undermined America’s diplomacy and national interests across the globe. I observed this disarray up close for more than a year as the ambassador to Mexico. It wasn’t pretty...

Some chaos is normal at the start of an administration. But it has been extreme under Mr. Trump. About 30 ambassadorships remain vacant, including in vitally important countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Moreover, the disconnect between the State Department and the White House seems intentional, leaving ambassadors in impossible positions and our allies across the globe infuriated, alienated and bewildered...

I left Mexico on May 5 — Cinco de Mayo — exactly two years after I had been sworn in as ambassador, and retired from government service at the end of May. Believing deeply in the United States-Mexico relationship, I cannot pretend anything less than relief at no longer having to defend the indefensible. But I also feel glad to escape the disorder I witnessed for more than a year...

Over the past three decades, successive American administrations have worked diligently to vanquish the anti-American DNA in Mexico. We were overcoming the suspicions that a history of invasion, territorial loss and imperial intent had bequeathed. That kind of trust is slow to build, and remarkably easy to destroy. It is being destroyed now.

Roberta S. Jacobson, a Pritzker Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, resigned as the United States ambassador to Mexico in May after more than 30 years at the State Department.

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20 Oct 2018, 7:05 pm

New Zealand is, of course, an "official" ally of the USA in a number of ways, not the least of them that we allow the USA to have a base for combat, intelligence and basically spy operations (at Harewood in the South Island). This, as well as the embassies and consulate offices here, is allowed to function as if it was solely the territory of the USA, USA law applies there, and no-one can enter to see what is going on without high level permission. There are now all sorts of risks of allowing this situation to continue.

New Zealand is also a vital part of the Five Eyes, and the USA uses the Waihopai spy base - also in the South Island - to spy on both enemies and allies from here. (Thanks for letting us know, Edward Snowden, it truly shocked us to learn that the USA is actively spying on us on our own territory, without notifying the NZ government). In the old days we used to send troops to assist the USA whenever they wanted, which led to the national shame of troops from here being sent to Vietnam - a move that was supported only by conservatives and the prime minister of the day.

Anyway, the point is that despite our size, we are strategically important to the USA, and in the past, the quality of the ambassadors has reflected that. This ended when Trump sent an untrained non-diplomat with no experience or knowledge of the role.

New Zealand eyebrows were very significantly raised when he arrived. It soon enough became apparent that this guy - whose main claim to fame in adult life seems to be that he was a male model - had no idea where the professional boundaries that go with his role were - and the USA obviously hadn't told him.

So there were embarrassing complaints (for the USA) to the authorities about him overstepping the mark.

Unfortunately we seem to be stuck with this d..k, however he now seems content just to have a paid holiday here for a few years, at the USA's taxpayers expense, and it's a great country for doing that. Pity that people who will never be able to afford anything like that in their whole lifetime in the USA are paying for him to have it.

It also emerged that the same male model had been making inappropriate comments to women during his ambassadorial outings. So the NZ government handed this over to the USA state department to deal with, and they reported back later that they "had counselled him", and he said that he wouldn't do it again.

That's the calibre of Donald "I only pick the best" Trump's personal appointments of Fake Ambassadors.