It's the Ratings, Stupid. . .

This past week we witnessed Donald Trump speak for the first time at the United Nations General Assembly. Many were shocked by his threat to destroy the country of North Korea (not just remove its leadership, but destroy the whole country, which is against international law btw.), decertify Iranian compliance with the Nuclear Accord, and some wily threats against Cuba and Venezuela. Many commentators are talking about how bad this is for U.S. foreign policy. I agree, this is blusterous, inept, and destructive foreign policy which could lead to the deaths of millions of people. Yet, what most are missing is: Trump Doesn’t Care!

He's not looking outside U.S. borders when he makes speeches such as the one at the U.N. The only thing he cares about is unifying, consolidating, and maintaining his base of support in the U.S. His speech was not for the international audience arrayed before him in New York City, it was for those who voted for him in the swing states across the country. Trump does not care if he causes international tension, happens to start regional wars, or even possibly propel the world into a massive global catastrophe. In fact, he would prefer it. Americans have a history of unifying behind the President during times of War, whether that President started it or not. A war, he believes, would help his electoral chances in the future (assuming he survives the multiple inquiries into GOP, Trump Campaign, and Russian collusion and treason in the 2016 election).

Therefore, don’t take what Trump is saying at face value, as he means nothing he says. Instead, see it for what it is: A sales pitch of his brand. His entire life has been a sales pitch of his brand. He successfully converted from low-end apartments in New York’s outer boroughs to casinos to television to politics through selling his brand. The same is happening on the world stage. It’s about brand recognition, loyalty, and ratings. When looked at this way, you can see he’s still the same sleazy salesman who doesn’t care if you get a crappy product, as long as he gets the specific deal he wants. There is no long-term strategy, no caring about relationships (clearly seen from the revolving door of his White House staffing system), or about what it even means for anyone but him. He’s trumping his name and brand, hoping to make it have enough value to legitimately win him an election.

Trump doesn’t care if hundreds of thousands of South Koreans may die in Seoul, thousands of U.S. military personnel may die in conflicts around the world, or even if Hawaii is nuked (it’s a blue state after all). All he cares about is manipulating the electorate of the United States enough to win the electoral college again in 2020. When seen through this perspective, his entire administration is easily understood, and more importantly, could be easily countered. Give the man a hug, pat him on the back with an Atta-boy, and send him packing. He’d be happy, and the rest of us would be safe to live our lives without the threat of nuclear Armageddon. Most foreign policy analysts, mom and pop shop owners, and even Trump voters would probably agree, that’s a deal worth taking.


Jeremy Strozer is a Strategic Risk Adviser with experience teaching and consulting with multiple Defense, Development, and Diplomatic agencies within the U.S. and allied governments. He also writes about the personal experience in War at

Table It

Pulling out the paper on the invasion of mainland Europe, I place it on the table before me.


This is what they came for.


“The British Chief of Staff’s Committee would like to table the paper on the topic of invading mainland Europe.” I announce to the Combined Chief’s of Staff Committee.


Half the room, the Americans, erupt in surprise and disappointment.


“What do you mean table it?” General Marshall, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army replies, representing the American side.


I thought they’d want us to talk about this. It is their bailiwick, after all.


“Yes, we’d like to table the motion of invading mainland Europe in 1942.” I repeat.


They may have simply misunderstood me the first time.


“We can’t table that” General Marshall retorts, almost instantly. “That is a primary topic we came to discuss.”


Of course it’s what we all came to discuss. That’s why we brought it up. Why are they fighting it.



The entire American delegation huddles together. Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of the Army Air Corps. (Why is their Air service part of their Army? They’ll learn.) and their Secretaries of their Army and Navy. So much brass and pinstripes, one would almost feel sorry for the marching band from which they must have pilfered it.


“The invasion of mainland Europe is of prime importance to our side. We must insist it not be tabled at this time. Otherwise, we have nothing further to discuss today.” General Marshall announces in a commanding, yet gentle, voice.


If it’s so important to you, and us, then why must we not table it at this time?


“Yes, the invasion of mainland Europe is of prime importance to our side as well, which is the very reason we wish to table it at this time. There are other topics which can wait until we address this one.” I reply, still not understanding the American’s insistence to prevent it from being discussed.


“Perhaps, I may offer a point of clarification.” Air Marshall Harris chimes in.


“It appears to me both sides which to discuss the invasion of mainland Europe. Is this correct?” the Air Marshall asks the room.


“Yes, that is correct.” General Marshall replies.


“Yes, right then.” Harris quickly retorts.


You’ve got it Harris, that’s it!


“Then perhaps we are on the same page, and simply the definition of ‘Table It’ is what’s ruffling the matter.” Harris offers.


Slowly the American delegation retakes their seats.


“So, we’ll discuss the invasion of mainland Europe next then?” General Marshall asks.


“If by next you mean now, then yes.” I reply. “For us, next means after what we’re doing right now.”


General Marshall looks at me.


General Arnold of the United States Army Air Corps slams a cigar on the table.


Major General Thomas Holcomb, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, slams his fist in a laugh.


“Gentlemen, may we proceed with discussing the invasion of Mainland Europe?” I ask.


In unison, the room erupts. “YES!”


“Let’s Proceed.” I declare.











Turns out the same words don’t always mean the same thing. During the Second World War the British and Americans came together at multiple conferences to plan the conduct of the war. One of the first, ARCADIA, took place from late 1941 through early 1942 and formed the foundation of the British American alliance, which persists to this day. Yet, at that conference not everything went as smooth as it could. Here is a quote from Winston Churchill discussing the event:



The enjoyment of a common language was of course a supreme advantage in all British and American discussions. The delays and often partial misunderstandings which occur when interpreters are used were avoided. There were however differences of expression, which in the early days led to an amusing incident. The British Staff prepared a paper which they wished to raise as a matter of urgency, and informed their American colleagues that they wished to "table it." To the American Staff "tabling" a paper meant putting it away in a drawer and forgetting it. A long and even acrimonious argument ensued before both parties realized that they were agreed on the merits and wanted the same thing.









This story is from my upcoming book Threads of The War, Volume IV. If you like what you've read here, please consider Pre-Ordering the book here.



Table (parliamentary procedure)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Look up table in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

In parliamentary procedure, the use of table, as a verb, has two different and contradictory meanings:

●   In the United States, to "table" usually means to postpone or suspend consideration of a pending motion.

●   In the rest of the English-speaking world, such as in the United Kingdom and Canada, to "table" means to begin consideration (or reconsideration) of a proposal.

Motions which use the word "table" have specific meanings and functions, depending on the parliamentary authority used. The meaning of "table" also depends on the context in which it is used.


Difference between American and British usage[edit]

Both the American and the British dialects have the sense of "to table" as "to lay (the topic) on the table", or "to cause (the topic) to lie on the table". A related phrase "put on the table" has the same meaning for both dialects, which is to make the issue available for debate.[1][2][3] The difference is when "table" is used as a verb.[1]

The British meaning of to "table" is to begin consideration of a proposal.[1] This comes from the use of the term to describe physically laying legislation on the table in the British Parliament; once an item on the order paper has been laid on the table, it becomes the current subject for debate.[4]

The American meaning of to "table" is to postpone or suspend consideration of a motion.[1] In this meaning, to begin consideration of the topic again, it would have to be "taken from the table". The use of terms such as "tabling a motion" in connection with setting aside or killing a main motion can cause confusion with the usage of this term in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, where it has an opposite meaning—that is, to propose a motion for consideration.[5][6] To make the intent clear internationally, Congressional Quarterly and its associated CQ publications, in reporting congressional votes, usually follow the word "table" (as used in Congress) with the word "kill" in parentheses.[7][8]

Use in the United States[edit]

In the United States, use of "table" as a verb usually refers to the motion to "lay on the table". Different parliamentary authorities describe such a motion in different ways. It also depends on whether the assembly is anorganization or a legislative body.


Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR)[edit]

Lay on the table (RONR)Class

Subsidiary motion

In order when another has the floor?


Requires second?




May be reconsidered?

Negative vote only



Vote required


Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (the book used by most organizations), the subsidiary motion to lay on the table is properly used only when it is necessary to suspend consideration of a main motion in order to deal with another matter that has come up unexpectedly and which must be dealt with before the pending motion can be properly addressed.[9] It has, however, become common to misuse this motion to end consideration of the pending main motion without debate, or to mistakenly assume that its adoption prevents further consideration of the main motion at all, or until a specified time.[10][11] Using "table" as a verb usually indicates misuse of this motion.[12] The book states, "It is preferable to avoid moving 'to table' a motion, or 'that the motion be tabled.'"[12]

Take from the table (RONR)Class

Motion that brings a question again before the assembly

In order when another has the floor?


Requires second?




May be reconsidered?




Vote required


A main motion that has been laid on the table may be taken up again by adoption of a motion to take from the table.[13] A motion can be taken from the table at the same session (or meeting) or at the next session (or meeting) if that session occurs within a quarterly time interval.[14] Otherwise, the motion dies.[14]

The use of the motion to lay on the table to kill a motion is improper; instead, a motion to postpone indefinitely should be used.[11] Similarly, it is improper to use the motion to lay on the table to postpone something; a motion to postpone to a certain time should be used in this case.[10] If debate is not desired, a motion to close debate (the previous question) should be used.[11] One of the disadvantages of trying to kill a measure by laying it on the table is that, if some opponents of the measure subsequently leave the meeting, a temporary majority favoring the measure can then take it from the table and act on it; or they may do so at the next session if held within a quarterly time interval.[15]

Although the motion to lay on the table is not debatable, the chair can ask the maker of the motion to state his reason in order to establish the urgency and legitimate intent of the motion or the maker can state it on his own initiative.[16]



In both houses of the United States Congress, the motion to table is used to kill a motion without debate or a vote on the merits of the resolution.[20] The rules do not provide for taking the motion from the table, and therefore consideration of the motion may be resumed only by a two-thirds vote to suspend the rules.[21]

Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure[edit]

Most state legislatures use Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure. In this book, the motions to lay on the table and to take from the table have the same characteristics as under RONR.[22] Mason's Manual has another motion, take from the desk, which a member uses when they desire to take up a matter that is on the desk, but on which no action has yet been taken.[23] The differences between the two motions are that the motion to take from the table is used after an item has been placed on the desk by a previous use of a motion to lay on the table and the motion is given a preference over new main motions offered at the same time. Take from the desk is used when an item is taken up that has not yet been introduced and this motion has no preference over new main motions that may be made at the same time.[23]

Example of Anglo‐American confusion[edit]

In the Parliament of the United Kingdom and other parliaments based on the Westminster system, to "table" a measure means to propose it for consideration, as in bringing it to the table.[4][5][6] In his book (The Second World War, Volume III, The Grand Alliance), Winston Churchill relates the confusion that arose between American and British military leaders during the Second World War:[24]


to table

In the US, meetings are often held according to Robert's Rules of Order, a popular guide to 'parliamentary procedure'. (We may not have a parliament, but we have the procedures! The Congress has its own set of rules.) In the parlance of Robert's and AmE generally, if a motion has been made and is up for discussion, it is on the floor, as in the following quotation from thePrinceton Union Eagle:

After a few minutes, Weisenburger said to Girard, "There's a motion on the floor, it's been seconded. Do something."

If you want to remove the motion from the floor--that is, to postpone discussion of it until a later time, you can put it on the table, or table the motion. (You'd then say that the motion is or has been tabled.) So, a tabled motion is not on the floor--it cannot be debated.

In BrE (where parliamentary procedure--or Standing Orders--seems to differ depending on the type of bill being debated and in which House), a motion that is being discussed is on the table. So, you table a motion when you want to bring it up for debate. You can also table questions (bring them up for discussion), according to the House of Commons Standing Orders for Public Business:





There he is again, slithering directly behind me.

This soldier won’t leave me alone.

I scurry a little faster, hoping to lose him in the crowded street, but he keeps up, maintaining an uncomfortable distance.

I just want to get home.

His eyes, dark under the pulled down military cap, stare intently at me when I glance back to see if he’s still there.

Seek help from a stranger, that is the only answer.

Reaching out to the first man I see, I plead “Monsieur,can you please help, this soldier is following me.” 

Looking up, surprised from the distractions of his ground-focused attention learned through years of NAZI occupation, the gentleman is a bit startled.

The soldier comes closer.

He’s not keeping his distance any longer.

“What is the problem, madame?” the gentleman says, just as the soldier sidles up to tower over him.

“Move along buddy” the soldier says, “my girlfriend and I are having a lover’s chase, if you know what I mean.”

“This soldier is not my boyfriend” I exclaim with all authority.

The gentleman is dazed, confused, and clearly wants to get somewhere away from this soldier.

Shoving the gentleman on, the soldier turns to me, his back to the other man.

“Look here sweetheart, we’re going to resolve this.” He says as he grabs my hand.

“LET GO OF ME!” I scream.

The gentleman stands there, stunned.

“Come with me Lucille!” the soldier projects loud enough for all to hear.

A crowd begins to gather around. The gentleman is still standing there, not knowing what to do.

“My name is not Lucille. I will not go with you. I don’t know you. Let go of me!” I demand.

Yes, a lot of noise, a crowd, attention. The last things he wants!

The soldier lets go of my hand as he turns to the crowd. 

“Fine, have it your way honey. I’ll see you at home.” He says as a parting blow to my status among the strangers in the crowd.

It worked, I am free of this monster.

“I do not know him.” I plead as the crowd dissipates with knowing expressions.

How dare he besmirch me near my home, this Cretan!

Scurrying home,I turn on several wrong streets to make sure the soldier is not following me.

I can’t have him know where I live.

Finally turning onto my street, I see my building entrance in the distance.

Home, safety, freedom.

Making my way toward the entrance, I look around me.

The soldier is nowhere to be seen.

I walk through the outer gate, entering the front courtyard of the building.

As I approach the front door, I look around again.

I’m not opening this door until I know I’m safe.

No one is around. I am alone.

I reach into my purse, clasping the key to the door in my right hand.

Looking up at the lock, a shadow breaks over mine on the door.


Swiveling around, I am prepared. The key to the door is locked between my forefinger and my middle finger.

It’s not much, but it would hurt if jabbed in the eye in a quick thrust.

Thrusting my arm, I see whose shadow it is.

“Good evening Monsieur Horbac” I say in a startled voice as I let my hand fall to my waist.

Thank god!

“Allow me to get the door, Madame.” The kindly old gentleman says to me as he reaches up.

How did he surprise me?

We enter the building, Monsieur Horbac heading to the elevator, and me to the stairs.

“Good evening Monsieur Horbac” I offer as I start up the staircase and he enters the open elevator.

I’m almost home.

My right foot just touches the first stair as the door behind the entrance to the staircase closes with a loud slam, and I hear “Hello again Lucille.”




Following the liberation of Paris in August 1944, the fighting units of the Allied armies pushed on through Eastern France toward Germany. Some of the soldiers from these armies decided to make their way back to the City of Lights, rather than fight on the front. For most, this was a chance to get out of the fighting, keep a low profile, and simply sit out the remainder of the war. For others, this was a chance to take advantage of the military uniform to steal, assault, rape and murder without compunction. Paris and other liberated cities were hit by a wave of violence and crime not often discussed after the war. Up to 50,000 American and 100,000 British soldiers deserted their units during World War II. Between June 1944 and April 1945 the US Army investigated over 7,900 cases of criminal activity. Forty-four percent of these were violence, including rape, manslaughter and murder. Eventually, law and order were restored in the liberated cities of Europe, but it took to the end of the war, and the reintroduction of strong civilian police authorities, to make this happen. 

The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II by Charles Glass was the source of information for this story.