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'That'll screw up all our arrangements'

•, Vin Suprynowicz

. . . when what they really mean is that they're afraid Trump WILL pull off the deal, bringing back jobs and factories to America, a stroke that would "screw up all our arrangements" (Sal Tessio) to manufacture cheap junk in China and import it back to a factory-free America ("a service economy," you understand, where steel workers are now free to get high-paying jobs as Wal-Mart "greeters," nothing to be done about it, "What's he got, a magic wand?")

Yes. The traditional Asian waiting game is to tell the Western adversary what he wants to hear, exchanging Asian promises for actual Western tariff reductions, the end to an embargo, withdrawal of armed forces, tons of military supplies flown "over the hump" at great expense "which we'll use to fight the Japanese invader real soon, not hoard for our war against Mao a decade from now, honest" . . . whatever the Westerner wants to hear.

Promise much; do nothing. If challenged, throw up the hands and shriek "I TOLD that head man to honor our agreement. I'll cut off his head!" . . . and promptly go back to total inaction; rinse and repeat.

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