May 8, 2019
Pay attention to what Donald Trump does, not what he tweets, former prime minister John Howard said in an interview last year. Look beyond the “media snow”, he counselled, and examine “the substance of the outcome of all the things he does”. That was good advice 10 months back, but it is even better advice now that we have a solid track record to examine.
But a column by the Lowy Institute’s Rodger Shanahan on this page (“Great disrupter’s Mid-East missteps”, April 27) ignores Howard’s advice. Shanahan caricatures Trump as a leader “who prefers bravado over process”; as such, his major arguments evaporate under scrutiny.
Let’s take them one by one.