Trump Retreats on Detente with Russia

President Trump toned down his combative rhetoric in speaking to Congress but, more significantly, ditched his campaign promises about détente with Russia and a reduced military presence abroad, says Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

Donald Trump’s speech on Tuesday to a joint session of Congress was a reasonably well-crafted and well-delivered exercise in communicating his case to the nation. The President opened with a description of the flurry of executive orders in his first 30 days in office, implementing promises made during the electoral campaign.

President Trump addressing a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

He then went on to describe the contours of legislation that his administration will send to Congress, starting with the budget and its scrapping of the cap on military spending, which is to enjoy a 10 percent rise in appropriations while domestic and other government spending is slashed. Then there was a review of his plans to repeal and replace Obamacare and a preview of his proposals for cutting taxes and regulations with the goal of creating more well-paying jobs.

In an emotional highpoint, Trump drew attention to the widow of a Special Forces soldier killed in a raid inside Yemen. He also presented a more compassionate – less combative – tone, calling on Democrats and Republicans to put aside their differences and work together. His 60-minute address was interrupted 93 times by applause, often standing ovations from Republicans but also some applause from the Democratic side, too.

Trump seemed to bask in the enthusiastic show of support, although such State of the Union speeches typically draw the same sort of surface adulation, with the members from the party in power cheering robustly and those from the other side offering sparser shows of support. Still, the televised images contrasted with the portrayal from the mainstream U.S. news media of an embattled leader caught in a Watergate-like scandal over supposedly illicit contacts with Russia, a narrative Trump mistakenly fed with the hasty firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Feb. 13 during a media frenzy about Flynn talking with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

Flynn became the target of elements inside the U.S. government and the press who opposed Trump’s plans for détente with Russia. Those anti-détente forces are now flexing their muscles, with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley sounding much like her hawkish predecessor Samantha Power, insisting that the United States will not recognize Russia’s takeover of Crimea and then, this week, co-sponsoring a resolution in the U.N. Security Council condemning the Assad regime in Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons, a move that provoked angry protests and a veto from Russia’s envoy.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis carried messages to Europe reaffirming the U.S. commitment to NATO allies and blaming Russia for the failure of the Minsk Accords to resolve the crisis in Ukraine (although a major obstacle was created by the Ukrainian government when it insisted that ethnic Russian rebels in the Donbass region effectively surrender before other steps would be taken). The U.S. statements could have been delivered by neoconservative and liberal-interventionist diplomats from the past several U.S. administrations.

Only the last five minutes of Trump’s address to Congress dealt with foreign relations. And his own words were consonant with what his cabinet officers had been saying. Trump’s campaign opinions about NATO’s obsolescence had disappeared. Russia was not mentioned by name once in the speech, while America’s allies in NATO and in the Pacific were reassured that “America is ready to lead.” That statement was a rare instance when the entire congressional audience rose to its feet in applause.

Back on His Words

Those who had feared that Trump’s populism and “America First” rhetoric spelled isolationism were reassured that “Our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world.”

Nikki Haley speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

In fact, in the entire speech, there were only a few lines toward the end that might give heart to those who hoped that Trump might pursue a dramatically new foreign policy that drew back from America’s vast network of military bases and the tendency to intervene in other countries’ affairs.

Though sounding not unlike boiler-plate language that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama might have used, those words did contain the possible seeds of a less warlike strategy. Trump said: “America is willing to find new friends and to forge new partnerships where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict. America is friends today with former enemies. We want peace, wherever peace can be found. America is friends today with former enemies. Some of our closest allies decades ago fought on the opposite side of these terrible, terrible wars.”

Depending on the strength of one’s powers of self-delusion, those last words might be construed as a hint: just wait, allow me to get my footing and establish my popularity in Congress and in the broad public and I will come back and deliver on my détente aspirations.

But it is an inescapable reality that the firing of Flynn and Trump’s retreat from his foreign policy intentions were precipitated by the powerful collusion between the intelligence services, particularly the CIA, and the mainstream media with a clear intent to either neuter Trump by forcing a policy reversal on Russia détente or remove him through some form of impeachment. The phoniness of the McCarthyite charges of Russian connections used to smear Trump and his entourage has been well explained in recent articles by Professor Stephen Cohen in The Nation and by Gareth Porter at Consortiumnews.com.

Those with a more conspiratorial turn of mind have long spoken of the Deep State, which ensures continuity of policy whatever the results of U.S. elections with this subterranean power residing largely in the intelligence services, especially the CIA and FBI, in the Pentagon, and in the State Department.

State is said to have been purged in its policy-making “seventh floor” during the week of Secretary Tillerson’s European travels. But the text that was placed before the inexperienced Ambassador Haley for delivery in the Security Council shows that not all the old actors have been sent packing. Any purge of the CIA and Pentagon has not even begun.

The ability of neocons and hardliners at the Pentagon to sabotage presidential policy was demonstrated last September when a promising collaboration between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over a cease-fire in Syria was torn to shreds by an “accidental” attack by U.S. and Allied fighter jets on a Syrian government outpost at Deir ez-Zor that killed nearly 100 Syrian soldiers.

If these recalcitrant Cold Warriors in America’s “power ministries” remain untouched, they will be in a position to create provocations at any time of their choosing to override Trump’s planned détente policies. To do so would be child’s play, given the close proximity of U.S. and Russian forces in Ukraine, in Syria, in the Baltic States, on the Baltic Sea and on the Black Sea.

Given the poor state of relations and the minimal trust between Russia and the U.S.-led West, any accident in these areas could quickly escalate. And then we might see the side of Donald Trump’s personality that his Democratic opponents warned us about, his short temper and alpha-male nature which could bring us into an armed clash the outcome of which is unforeseeable but surely not good.

There is another troubling issue for those who hoped Trump would rein in military spending to finance his promised domestic infrastructure investments. Instead, Trump has focused on expanding military spending even more, financed by cuts in domestic spending. There has not been a word to suggest he is considering restructuring the $600 billion military appropriations, for example by cutting the military bases abroad, which are configured to support precisely the global hegemony and American imperialism that he has denounced.

What is at issue is not only the tens of billions of dollars in savings that would come from slashing this overseas base structure but also removing an American presence from countries where it only serves to foster anti-Americanism and to embroil us either in defending hated regimes or intervening in regional conflicts where we have no vital interests.

Without restructuring and reducing the gargantuan network of foreign military bases, the U.S. will be condemned to a never-ending succession of wars abroad and the entire plan of investment in America is doomed to failure. These are not issues that allow for tactical retreats but rather must be addressed head-on. But who will explain this to a headstrong President with the fawning applause of Congress ringing in his ears?

Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.

 

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64 comments for “Trump Retreats on Detente with Russia

  1. mike k
    March 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Sad but probably true. The hope that this narcissist fraud would somehow do something right for the world was just wishful thinking. His spineless pandering to the crowd trumps any intentions he may have absently entertained to go against conventional thinking. I think he is settling in now to enjoy being the big shot president, and will be careful not to make the wrong people turn on him again. Can’t think of any worse news. Just another deep state puppet….

  2. mike k
    March 1, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Trump knows that as soon as he makes clear he is on board with demonizing Russia and Putin, the pressure behind a lengthy investigation and moves for his impeachment will just fade away. All bullies are basically cowards.

  3. Joe Tedesky
    March 1, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    We are a country who worries more about the profit of our current healthcare system more than we worry about the health of our citizens. Someone in DC should worry about these poor citizens since they are the tax base for every promise our politicians make.

    Why worry about health, or social stability, when everything you crave is found in manufacturing bombs and weapons. None of this hegemony kick America is on is going to end well. America is already 20 trillion in the hole, but finding 54 billion dollars worth of funding is not a problem when it’s being spent on the Pentagon. Oh, if only FDR had not died, and his idea of decolonization were put into play.

    Something happened to Trump when he let Flynn go. My wild guest is that the Deep State got to him. I would leave a link to some of the articles written about what is really going on with Trump’s foreign policy, but this comment board seems to hate links. New Eastern Outlook, Landdestroyer, and counterpunch have some good stuff to read, so I urge you to read what some of their authors have to say. What seems to be in play is Kissenger inspired, and meant to pull Russia away from Iran and China association. Good luck with that guys and gals, because I don’t think Putin is that kind of fish to take the bait.

    The exploitation of the fallen Navy Seal’s widower is beyond words if applied to good taste. My hope and my prayers are with that Navy Seal’s wife and his family, may they find peace. Incidentally why did no one bring up the fact of why the Navy Seal died in Yemen….why are we in Yemen?

    • John
      March 2, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Trumps first mistake was not prosecuting Hillary…..now the monkey rides his back……The great USA cannot even govern for the citizens….only special interest. The USA is pegging its future existence on the US dollar, wars and rumors of war through constant propaganda ……..The present governing system of the USA will soon fail along with the mighty US dollar…..Time to raise the debt ceiling again…….lol

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 2, 2017 at 5:49 pm

        John your comment is so true. I feel awful for what I am handing over to my grandchildren. I wish I could be around for when the fall comes, and be part of America to take over and rebuild our nation to be as great as we all thought it could be. The Military Industrial Complex has taken us over, and I don’t see how it will end peacefully either…that’s a scary thought indeed.

      • Eileen Kuch
        March 3, 2017 at 2:37 pm

        You’re absolutely right, John, you hit the proverbial nail squarely on its head. I totally agree, Trump’s first mistake was not having Hillary prosecuted for her many crimes (including treason). Now the monkey rides his back, and the great US cannot even govern for its own citizens, only special interests. The US is pegging its future existence on the US dollar, wars and rumors of war through constant propaganda .. a HUGE mistake. There is NO future in all of this. Our future is only with ditching Obongo’s foreign policy altogether, as Trump had pledged, both in his campaign and in his Inaugural address. His huge mistake was accepting Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation as his National Security Advisor. Flynn’s replacement’s the polar opposite of him regarding national security and foreign policy. Flynn did nothing wrong and should’ve stood his ground instead of tendering his resignation .. And Trump should’ve stood behind his man, defending him to the hilt, instead of accepting. He’s the one who chose Flynn as his NSA advisor, since he’s the only one among the candidates who possesses courage and integrity.
        It was Flynn who had the list of the Pizzagate pedophiles, and he was about to reveal them to the Trump administration. He also had evidence of Hillary’s treason. If all this evidence had been given to the White House, Trump would have no option but to have the Hildabeast prosecuted.

    • Kiza
      March 3, 2017 at 6:43 am

      Dear Joe, you belong to that truly small group of left-wingers who have not been coopted by MIC. I agree with everything you have written. I also have a feeling that the US left will have to be rebuilt before America could be made Great Again. What calls itself left now is not at the level of humans then animals, although I fail to recall any animal which is so shortsighted, so greedy and so dumb.

      From history, the only example of something similar happening to the left would be how the leadership of US worker syndicates has been turned over to mafia.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 3, 2017 at 11:42 am

        What is called left wing in America has no philosophical bases, it’s all hinged on fear. I won’t discredit equal rights movements which have somehow been renamed to identity politics, but this movement to improve people’s rights has been kidnapped to be used as a weapon. I wish the people on the left would at least realize how they are being used, and used mostly by the CIA. As for me I never knew what to call myself, but left or liberal is not an insult, as long as that doesn’t mean I’m a Hillary supporter. Take care KIza, always good to read your thoughts….Joe

  4. mike k
    March 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    This whole affair provides us with a civics lesson making clear who really controls our government. It is not the president. In addition to the traditional branches of government there are the MIC, the MSM, the intelligence agencies, the too big to fail Banks, and the major Corporations So we really have eight branches of government, with the last five holding the real power – all of them being conveniently unacknowledged.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 1, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Sheldon Wolin called our American system of government ‘inverted fascism’. Corporations controlling the government instead of the other way around in a normal fascist government. I think Professor Wolin was right.

      • John
        March 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        Wolin used the term “Inverted Totalitarianism”.
        Bertrand Gross used the term “Friendly Fascism”.
        Both authors approach the same phenomenon from different angles. They are complimentary, not contradictory.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm

          Thank you for that. Now to go read about Bertrand Gross.

      • Exiled off mainstreet
        March 2, 2017 at 11:40 am

        Wolin is spot on. The US is factually an updated version of fascism. He used the term “totalitarianism” probably because in his view, the word fascism had too much emotional baggage. The reality of the deep state and its insatiable desire for destructive war and its hostility to civilization is apparent for all but the propagandistically neutered. The only hope left is that, despite Trump’s neutering, he will still be slower to actually pull the trigger.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 2, 2017 at 2:15 pm

          No matter in any case we the people are not in charge…right?

  5. Herman
    March 1, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    “America is willing to find new friends and to forge new partnerships where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict. America is friends today with former enemies. We want peace, wherever peace can be found. America is friends today with former enemies. Some of our closest allies decades ago fought on the opposite side of these terrible, terrible wars.”

    My reaction to those words above was very different from Gilbert Doctorow’s. His familiarity with the subject makes his version far more likely to be true. I was encouraged by those words and not surprised President Trump did not mention Russia but my guess is that it was not a good time to get the mob riled up again, that if he does pursue détente he is going to have to be patient, waiting for the right moments and circumstances.

    Hard to explain the lady at the UN blaming Russia for the failure of Minsk or her beyond the pale mention of the Crimea. If she was operating under instructions from the President, that he would be serious about détente would be worthy of the Prince.

    It is at least considering that Trump saw his support for NATO a bone he had to offer to the pack.

    Expanding the military is another point in favor of what Gilbert Doctorow had to say. The quote above made me hopeful while acknowledging what politicians are good at, lying.

    • Realist
      March 1, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      As you say, they all lie. I have no problem with Trump lying back to them if it gives him the space to pursue peaceful co-existence with Russia. He needs to outflank all the “handlers” assigned to control him by the deep state and hold a summit with Putin that defines what the problems are between us and them and what the ground rules can be for solving them. Nuclear weapons must be off the table. Sadly, we are not going to stop fighting conventional proxy wars. It’s what we do.

      I’d also hope that Trump has the insight to sit down and talk with the leaders of China and Iran as well, rather than saber rattling–or trawling the South China Sea looking for a fight.

  6. mike k
    March 1, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Under Trump we are going to really find out what life in an oligarchy is about. The door has been opened to a dystopia beyond anything we have known before. Trump is the Nero of our collapsing empire.

    • March 2, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Mike K, While appreciative of the accurate dire analysis of America’s new leader, may the true situation be far darker, and immeasurably more urgent? Considering the spiritual black magic Trump performed during his Congressional address, combined with clearly disturbing circumstances around the Earth, one feels completely rational in suggesting and warning Donald Trump is literally the antichrist. Historic manifestation, unification and application of spiritual power has become necessary.

      • Michael M.
        March 3, 2017 at 12:06 am

        ‘black magic’? What the hell are you talking about?

        • March 3, 2017 at 1:17 am

          Michael M., The most talked about segment of the address: the widow of the Navy Seal who died in Yemen, Trump leading the way to a “new record” length of applause, topped off with Donald Trump’s channeling of Jesus Christ (“Greater love…”). That’s the hell I’m talking about, and if you don’t see spiritual black arts being practiced there by Trump it might be a good idea to watch, and study intently, that segment again. Do not ignore the obvious, my friends. This man is ready to unleash World War III.

  7. Skip Scott
    March 1, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I remember previous comment strings where we speculated on how long it would take for Trump to have his “trip to the woodshed.” Apparently he’s gotten the message.

  8. FobosDeimos
    March 1, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Glad to see that Gilbert Doctorow is finally awakening to the reality that Trump ‘s stance on Russia and peace is just more of the same. There are those who think that Trump’ rosy overtures to Russia (and his appintment of Flynn) were actually a delusional attempt at causing a split between Russia and China on the one hand, and Russia and Iran on the other. Trump must have realized that Putin will never follow such an idiotic path, so he is going ahead with his Israel inspired Iran bashing, and McMaster can now vomit his Russophobia at will, togethet with so called diplomat Haley.

  9. John P
    March 1, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    MSN news had a video on misrepresentations in Trump’s speech.
    On employment figures
    1. This is an absurd claim, based on a real number from the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
    94.4 million people are out of the labour force, but most don’t want to work. They are retired, students. stay-at-homes, or disabled. There are 7.6 million people who are actively looking for a job who can’t find one.

    On business
    2. President Trump is taking credit for business decisions made before his election.
    Ford’s CEO says the decision to abandon a plan to open a factory in Mexico is due to low demand for small cars. Fiat Chrysler’s chief says $1 billion investment in the U.S. has been in the works for more than a year.

    On reducing the cost of the F-35
    3. Again Trump is taking credit for something he didn’t do.
    The Pentagon announced cost reductions in the F-35 program before Trump started meeting with Lockheed Martin’s CEO.

    The cost of some wars to date.
    4. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost $1.6 trillion, not $6 trillion.
    The $6 trillion-figure adds in estimates on future spending, such as debt interest and veterans care, over the next three decades.
    Money not yet spent cannot be repurposed to rebuild the economy.
    Former president Barak Obama often pleaded with the GOP-led Congress to pass a major infrastructure bill but never received support.

    Drugs over the border.
    5. The data are mixed on the amount of drugs coming through the borders. The amount of marijuana and cocaine seized by Customs and Border Patrol officials has dropped significantly over the last few years. But the amount of heroin and methamphetamine seized has increased in recent years.

    A huge increase in money to the military industrial complex, equal to 80% of the current Russian budget (New Eastern Outlook – Trump’s Proposed Increase in US Defense Spending). The US pays more to the complex than the next 7 largest military budgets together.

    “The Only Concrete Takeaway From Trump’s Speech: Medicaid Is Doomed” – Jon Schwarz

    Sad news for those working at Pizzarias (? SP) I gather there is a machine out now that will do all the production work. Just like the societal changes at the early stages of the industrial revolution (tractors, combines etc), so too is new technology taking jobs away today. Where do the displaced go is the reason we have so much discourse and division today, especially when many at the top are more concerned with the bottom line and not the health of the nation as a whole. A few auto businesses won’t do much for employment in today’s world.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 1, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      John P great stuff. I just emailed your comment off to some others who may find your comment interesting… Joe

      • John P
        March 1, 2017 at 9:53 pm

        Thanks Joe. To me the biggest problem today are the patsies at the top be it politics, industry whatever. I just came across this article at Foreign Policy in Focus

        http://fpif.org/bringing-america-together-again/

        “The underlying cause for the decrease in jobs involves fundamental changes in the economic structure — especially from the rise of technology, but also from the energy transformation spurred by economic pressures as well as climate change. The total inflation-adjusted output of the U.S. manufacturing sector is now higher than it has ever been, but there has been a massive 30-year decline of employment.”
        “Thanks to automation and other changes, the American economy can now produce everything the nation needs with a modest fraction of the total work force. And the gains go to the top, not the middle classes.”

        I gather that some countries are considering a minimum basic wage for those who can’t find work. Most people want to work and earn their wage. Contrary to what some think, very few people are not upset getting money for nothing. If something isn’t done to bring some resolution to this modern day problem, in time there will be revolution. I very much doubt that Trump is up to the job. Hopefully I shall be surprised for everyone’s sake.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 2, 2017 at 9:49 am

          Shifting people around in occupations has been going on for ages.

          I told an investment guy at the bank how someone ought to start purchasing up blocks of robots, and then get people to invest in buying a robot. Then rent the robot out to user accounts who hire the robots to manufacturer their end users product. The investor will wait for their check to come in the mail….which will arrive on their cell phone.

          Knowing the politico class, they would then decry ‘we have 94 million robots seating idle under the pass administration, so vote for me I will put these idle robots to work’. No doubt the political asses that they are will hide the fact that three quarters of these idle robots are idle because they have worked pass their due date and are waiting to be recycled, and the other one quarter are new robots waiting to go on line. Nothing would change when it comes to these politicians stumping to make themselves look good.

          Between ground troop robots, and drones, we are even eliminating soldiers. Maybe one day we will fight wars where only the robots die…I wonder what us humans will be doing?

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm

          John P I read your linked article. Everything in the article is true.

          Starting, or better put propelling the off shoring of jobs in American was not only greedy and cruel, it was untimely. Why would you wipe out so many jobs with a baby boomer generation adding more people to our population? Add to that endorse a new national meme of grabbing all the wealth for one selve. We became a people no longer about unity but about ‘Me’. With the deregulation of all business and banking regulations, America went into an unchecked capitalism of the sorts, which meant by all means that business came first and the consuming public came last.

          Airlines no longer value you as a respected passenger, now instead you are handled like freight. No longer could you earn a decent interest rate on your savings account at the local bank, now you had to take the risk with your 401k and hope for the best. A round of Enron for everybody, please. This is the result of a capitalistic foundation becoming unhinged. Before a political representative can represent you properly, the representative needs to respect you….and I don’t see that happening anytime too soon.

        • Dieter Heymann
          March 3, 2017 at 10:11 am

          Between 1800 and today there have been two major revolutions of the capitalist economic structure. The first was machines, electricity, oil and gas combined with science and technology. It is still ongoing. The second was born in Bletchley Park. Add electronics and rocketry.
          I have not the foggiest notion where that will lead us.

    • March 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      1. Must include those who have given up on job search
      4. Must include future cost of wars in cost of wars, just as you include future auto payments in the cost of your auto. Money spent past, present or future can not be repurposed, only budgeted monies may be repurosed.

  10. LJ
    March 1, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    I admit I voted for Trump and the worst case scenario is unfolding. Luckily the Republicans despise him so he won’t get anything through the Senate. Clearly he is to narcissistic to be a great man and you can tell by listening to his limited vocabulary and lack of eloquence that he is neither well read or particularly intelligent. Another egotist in the White House. Shazamm Shazamm Shazamm. Unfortunate, however I do not think things would be at all different if Hillary had been elected. Indeed There would already be a Special Persecutor looking into her email server and her stint as SOS via-a-vis the Clinton Foundation but the House and Senate would be in support of “safe zones” in Syria anyway . We were screwed either way. It was disquieting that Trump surrounded himself with the Oxymorons, Military intelligence instead of civilian advisers . Flynn was the heretic, a wild hair . I had read hit pieces on him before the election. The Deep State got him quick and that was the end of any hope for Detente II The Sequel. We will all see now that Trump is a poseur. That is all that we are allowed or should expect in a President

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 2, 2017 at 10:54 am

      LJ don’t beat yourself up too bad for voting for Trump. It wasn’t like your choices were good. Whenever this conversation comes up between us voters, that’s when I get mad the most over what Hillary and her DNC campaign committee did to the Sanders campaign. The result of a Trump winning the White House is what you get when all you have is ‘the voting for lesser evil’ vote is all that’s left.

  11. Bill Bodden
    March 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Donald Trump’s speech on Tuesday to a joint session of Congress was a reasonably well-crafted and well-delivered exercise in communicating his case to the nation.

    But as we learned from the BS artist he recently relieved, we would do well to remember these speeches are just words that should be regarded with skepticism. How quickly people forget the lies and distortions of the past month.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 1, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      In an emotional highpoint, Trump drew attention to the widow of a Special Forces soldier killed in a raid inside Yemen.

      During which photo-op told the whopper of the night saying the raid being such a great success. It was anything but: “Senior U.S. officials said they were unaware of valuable information from the Jan. 29 operation, which killed SEAL Ryan Owens and up to 30 civilians, NBC News said Monday.” and “The Bureau of Investigative Journalism said that at least 25 civilians also perished, including nine children under the age of 13.” – http://thehill.com/policy/international/middle-east-north-africa/321471-yemen-seal-raid-yielded-no-significant-intel

  12. J'hon Doe II
    March 1, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    I question the long standing ovation for the widow of a Seal Team member whose life was lost during a sneak attack that killed women and children in a sleeping, innocuous little village – VILLAGE! – that, by all accounts, had absolutely No Clear Objective Value other than Mr. Trump’s juvenile desire to play “general” spurred by his compulsive narcissism.

    Will he compensate that widow as Bush & Company did after the orchestrated attack on World Trade Towers in NYC, killing civilians in the process? Could Trumps rhetoric heal the broken heart of the killed soldiers’ father? A father who cannot balance the death (loss) of a beloved son against the frivolity of an ignorently eager, points scoring, petulant “Commander-in-Chief”?

    So, to who or to whom was the applause directed? The sobbing wife or the -it’s all about me- Mr.Trump? Or was it entirely Orchestrated Mixed Metaphor meant to absolve and assuage the conscience of a nation that accepts violence as an exceptionalist privilege ?

    9/11 ESTABLISHED our “Right” to invade/bomb/deconstruct-remake the entire Middle East into our “Image and Likeness” (lackeys?) based solely upon our COMPLETE MILITARY POWER.

    This military power enabled General Trump to display the US Reckless Ability to Kill and Destroy at Will as it has done in manifold Theaters-of-Death in Overt and Covert kill missions World Wide from 1950 to this very day – and bows beyond based upon the exorbitant exceptionalist applause aroused by sympathy for the spouse or approval for the “mission” that caused her loss?

    Meanwhile, war and death ravish the entire Middle East, disrupting the ENTIRE World while pointing the wagging finger at Radical Islamic Terrorist/Terrorism.
    — How Exceptionalist of us to fall for and believe in that Bullspit !!!
    — How Ignorant of us to be the Progenitors and Applauders of this Carnival Barker Ignorant President Who Knows a History of The World.

    As do most of present America – which operates
    As If the “others” Don’tReally Matter.

    http://www.atimes.com/article/letter-tehran-trump-bazaaari-2/

    http://www.atimes.com/egyptian-iranian-detente-boon-region-beyond

    • J'hon Doe II
      March 1, 2017 at 6:22 pm
    • Lois Gagnon
      March 1, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Well said. The casual acceptance of the extreme violence the US perpetrates around the globe on a daily basis displays a level of insanity among the populace that is staggering to anyone with a human conscience. Try to bring it up in conversation and watch the reaction. Anger and denial are the norm. I suspect people recoil at being attached to their government’s criminal acts and so they just pretend the mass murder isn’t real or those being killed must deserve it.

      And the violence continues to escalate as the need to expand profits drives the whole murderous enterprise. It won’t end well.

      • Kiza
        March 3, 2017 at 6:52 am

        Spot on.

    • Sam F
      March 2, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Yes, but “ravish” should be “ravage” and the military widows do get benefits, so you mean that nothing can compensate.

  13. J'hon Doe II
    March 1, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I question the long standing ovation for the widow of a Seal Team member whose life was lost during a sneak attack that killed women and children in a sleeping, innocuous little village – VILLAGE! – that, by all accounts, had absolutely No Clear Objective Value other than Mr. Trump’s juvenile desire to play “general” spurred by his compulsive narcissism.

    Will he compensate that widow as Bush & Company did after the orchestrated attack on World Trade Towers in NYC, killing civilians in the process? Could Trumps rhetoric heal the broken heart of the killed soldiers’ father? A father who cannot balance the death (loss) of a beloved son against the frivolity of an ignorently eager, points scoring, petulant “Commander-in-Chief”?

    So, to who or to whom was the applause directed? The sobbing wife or the -it’s all about me- Mr.Trump? Or was it entirely Orchestrated Mixed Metaphor meant to absolve and assuage the conscience of a nation that accepts violence as an exceptionalist privilege ?

    9/11 ESTABLISHED our “Right” to invade/bomb/deconstruct-remake the entire Middle East into our “Image and Likeness” (lackeys?) based solely upon our COMPLETE MILITARY POWER.

    This military power enabled General Trump to display the US Reckless Ability to Kill and Destroy at Will as it has done in manifold Theaters-of-Death in Overt and Covert kill missions World Wide from 1950 to this very day – and bows beyond based upon the exorbitant exceptionalist applause aroused by sympathy for the spouse or approval for the “mission” that caused her loss?

    Meanwhile, war and death ravish the entire Middle East, disrupting the ENTIRE World while pointing the wagging finger at Radical Islamic Terrorist/Terrorism.
    — How Exceptionalist of us to fall for and believe in that Bullspit !!!
    — How Ignorant of us to be the Progenitors and Applauders of this Carnival Barker Ignorant President Who Knows a History of The World.

    As do most of present America – which operates
    As If the “others” Don’tReally Matter.

    http://www.atimes.com/egyptian-iranian-detente-boon-region-beyond
    http://www.atimes.com/article/letter-tehran-trump-bazaari-2/

  14. marlenejo
    March 1, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    The “good” thing is that the 54 billions dollars military spending increase will not happen. The US is broke. On March 15th, the 20 trillions budget ceiling resolution kick in and well, the US will have reach that limit. With only be a few months before the US ran out of cash, everything freeze and the unravelling start, Russia will be the least of Trump problem.

    • Miranda Keefe
      March 2, 2017 at 1:50 am

      marlenejo,

      You’re confusing GOP behavior during a Democratic administration with GOP permanent behavior.

      They will raise the debt ceiling without a murmur with a GOP administration.

  15. John
    March 1, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    So, if Drumpf starts sabre rattling at Russia and persuing aggressive war policies, does this mean that the Democretins will now become advocates for peace and non-intervention like they were under Dumbya, before they became pro-war militariats under Obomber?

    It must really be confusing for those with no moral integrity to keep up with their constantly changing heartfelt beliefs.

    • Lois Gagnon
      March 1, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      Cognitive dissonance is the new normal.

    • Miranda Keefe
      March 2, 2017 at 1:52 am

      They are all a bunch of bleating hypocrites wailing and throwing fits about the other side and then supporting it when their side does it.

      It is all a side show for the purpose of riling up a base so hypnotized by the barrage of daily propaganda that they have no long term memory and so it works.

      A pox on both their houses.

  16. March 1, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Here is a politician that tells it like it is:
    —————————————————————————————
    “To help refugees, stop arming terrorists – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard”
    Published time: 1 Mar, 2017 23:05

    Representative Tulsi Gabbard called again for the US to stop aiding terrorists like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, while her guest at the presidential address to Congress, a Kurdish refugee activist, called for an end to the US policy of “regime change in Syria.”…

    [read more at link below]

    https://www.rt.com/usa/379119-tulsi-gabbard-terrorists-syria/

    • FobosDeimos
      March 1, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Yes, and for a few minutes it looked as if Trump was going to pay attention, when he met Tulsi Gabbard at Trump Tower in NYC shortly after his election. But that was before he packed his cabinet with warmongers and Strangelovian characters.

      • Kiza
        March 3, 2017 at 7:05 am

        Me thinks that if Trump gave up so quickly on detente with Russia, how is he going to reform the US economy which is mostly in a disastrous state? Military Industrial Propaganda complex is very powerful, but it could never compare to the vested interests in the economy and finance.

        Therefore, Trump has populated the government with defence advisers who are warmongers and the economy & finance reformers with Goldman Sachs execs. He is solving problems by putting people who created those problems in charge of reforms.

        Trump appears to be making America Great Again by doing more of the same which made America Not Great before.

        But he has probably given humanity a year more to exist compared with Clinton.

  17. Loup-Bouc
    March 1, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Fine article.

    Trump confronts an attack of magnitude and quality that may be beyond Trump’s comprehension and likely too powerful for Trump’s administration and advisors to repel. http://www.voltairenet.org/article195455.html

    But, though Trump may not apprehend the grand dimensions and enormity of the attack, surely he feels it. And his weak, much narcissistic ego must be suffering grave fear, which, surely, Trump cannot admit, consciously, to himself, just as he cannot to his governmental and advisory associates, even his friends (if, truly, he has any).

    So, perhaps, beleaguered and suffering inexpressible fear, Trump will retreat from his promise of advancing peace, détente, and economically/legally benign world commerce untainted by neoliberal globalism. http://www.voltairenet.org/article195279.html If so, we will face a growing neoliberal threat of an atomic-weaponry-prosecuted World War III.

    Never before has the world suffered such threat of annihilation. Whatever may come of Trump’s pro-Big-Oil, anti-environment-protection-regulation mind-set, it cannot compare with the devastation that will ensue from the U.S. neocon war-frenzy directed toward Russia and its allies.

    Contact your federal and state representatives. Demand that they back off supporting the new McCarthyism designed to topple Trump and destroy the hope of peace.

  18. wootendw
    March 1, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    “…insisting that the United States will not recognize Russia’s takeover of Crimea…”

    The way things are going for the EU, the next election in Ukraine may turn against those Ukrainians who favor joining it – which is partly what the started the current conflict. Maidan supporters are violent but are probably in the minority. That opens the way for a return to a government that favors reconciliation with Russia. Perhaps Russia might give them some compensation for Crimea – they were paying to lease the base at Sevastopol. Now that shale is dead and Biden is no longer in position to help his son anyway, there is little point in the US continuing to foment violence in Ukraine.

    • Kiza
      March 3, 2017 at 7:34 am

      That would be deja vu all over again (Yogi Berra). The US Deep State did one color revolution in Ukraine before, Maidan was not the first one.

      When the Western money runs out, they will switch back to aligning with Russia as they did before. But the Nazis will remain, which probably means dissolution of Ukraine into Western and Eastern. Russia is awaiting this to happen naturally (without a military intervention), just as in Crimea.

  19. Gary Hare
    March 2, 2017 at 12:25 am

    I agree that Trump’s speech was well-crafted and well-delivered. He addressed many significant domestic issues in a compassionate manner, and we can only hope he attains some success in overcoming them. It is hard to imagine lost jobs and industry returning to the US, and he needs success here to get a second term.
    We can derive no clues as to the policies, strategies and programs he might follow on foreign policy. But today I watched a very good discussion on RT’s Cross Talk ( https://youtu.be/prcuaQPijug ) called “Trump’s Middle East” with Mohammad Marandi, Michael Maloof and Alistair Cooke. Gilbert appears on this show regularly, and along with the three guests mentioned, the analyses are often sensible and well-reasoned. This was one of the best.
    I agree that his reference to the widow of the Navy Seal member was crass, but the applause it received was a gruesome example of the absence of any morality in the US elite. Disgusting!

  20. Lee Francis
    March 2, 2017 at 7:05 am

    ”Those anti-détente forces are now flexing their muscles, with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley sounding much like her hawkish predecessor Samantha Power …” But of course, this is the sort of inane BS needed for political career advancement, even if the lady in question couldn’t find Ukraine on a map. Why is it that the most venal, opportunistic riff-raff find their way into such important and well-remunerated positions.

    • Sam F
      March 2, 2017 at 11:03 am

      That is the nature of venal opportunism following their opportunist bosses from the venal opportunist oligarchy.

  21. March 2, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Absolutely, Trump has had his “trip to the woodshed” (I missed those comments, perfect metaphor!) and he’s about to get more paddlings. The latest being the reddening of Sessions on “our mortal foe”, Russia. Noted the comment on Trump being the Antichrist, that was applied to Obama; I think it is the US government overall. When does governing actually occur?

    Now George W. Bush has dusted off his cowboy boots to show the “compassionate conservative”, lured by Matt Lauer on “Today” (saw video on The Duran) to criticize Trump for the immigrant Muslim ban. He who bears enormous responsibility for this mess! The smirks on his face while speaking were truly unnerving.

    Matt Drudge is encouraging Oprah to run against Trump for 2020, and she said in an interview that she now realizes political experience may not be necessary, with good advisors! As if this could not be more surreal! Hillary, it seems, wants to run again. Well, Oprah might just crack that glass ceiling!

  22. March 2, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Put all the elites in the front lines:

    “Yesterday’s enemies are today’s friends and today’s friends are tomorrow’s enemies, such is the way of the world, and wars of the world. All these wars cause enormous bloodshed, destruction and suffering to those affected. Therefore, would it not be much simpler to have war games for all of the world’s leaders and elites every few years? We have Olympic Games every four years where the world’s athletes from different countries compete. And many of these countries are hostile to each other, yet they participate in the Olympics. So if enemies can participate for sport, why not for war games?…”
    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2009/03/should-we-have-war-games-for-worlds.html

  23. tina
    March 2, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Just Weird. Justify how exactly did HRC cause 2017? Did she have some special powers we were unaware of? I think, if one wants to try to make sense of the state of affairs one should know history. Trump is right .in that we are not innocent. Everyone knows that, Grabbing pussy is not cool. Now, do we all sit on our asses and post comments? Or take action? I choose action. And by the way, if Hillary Clinton caused all this, then she must be a pretty powerful individual.

  24. Rick Patel
    March 3, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. USA is committed to incessant war.

  25. Paul b
    March 3, 2017 at 11:38 am

    At some point in this administration there will be a nuclear standoff with Russia. Maybe over Syria, maybe Ukraine or the Baltics. But instead of Kennedy and Kruschev (both of whom had experienced war first hand), the fate of humanity will be in the hands of Trump and Putin. God help us all.

  26. Michael Kenny
    March 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    The problem with Putin is that he has discredited the US as a defender of Europe and, by extension, of Israel and he has discredited NATO as an instrument to those ends. I’m not sure that was part of the “script” but that’s the corner Putin has panited himself into in Ukraine. Trump’s foreign policy will, of necessity, be an “Israel first” policy, not an “America first” one and Putin has made himself a nuisance to Israel from a whole series of points of view. I suspect that what Trump meant when he talked about “getting on” with Putin was persuading Putin to back off in Ukraine (and now, Syria), probably by offering him lots of money. Tillerson may well pull that off and so much the better if he does. One way or the other, though, there is no way of “making America great again” without getting Putin out of Ukraine and, ideally, out of office not later than the end of his term in May 2018.

  27. posa
    March 4, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Yeah well.. it was always clear from the start that Drump’s one-liners would not be enough for anyone to rely on. His loony military buildup and escalation of military operations all over the place, especially with Russia has placed the world on a dangerous hair trigger for Total (ie nuclear war)… Flynn and Sessions helped the Deep State immensely by stupidly answering simple questions in an honest, straightforward manner instead of petty lies that have ensnared them.

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