The Emperor of Etchasketchistan

Five Things You Need to Read Today

1. The Emperor of Etchasketchistan

Back in 2013, I noted that we had reached an “Etcha-a-Sketch” moment in foreign policy.

“The Syrian intervention has finally shaken loose all of the foreign policy alignments that fell into place during the Iraq War, and it’s as if someone grabbed the foreign-policy commentariat, turned it upside-down, and shook it so we can start all over again from a blank slate. You can no longer guess where anyone on the left or the right will stand, or who will come off sounding like a realist, a neocon, an isolationist.”

This could be a disaster, I concluded, or it could be “a good opportunity to reappraise foreign policy from basic principles. Because that’s got to be better than the careening, ad hoc, crisis-driven approach we have now.”

Well, that was a nice idea. Too bad it didn’t work out. We’re still stuck in Etchasketchistan, and Donald Trump is its emperor.

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