Meanwhile, About Those Other Issues at the Summit

They actually held a Russian-American summit in Helsinki on Monday to talk about life and death issues, though you wouldn’t know it from the corporate media. Alexander Mercouris explores some of those other issues.

By Alexander Mercouris

The summit meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has finally taken place in Helsinki to thunderous condemnation on the part of many in the West.

Some talk luridly of the beginning of the end of the West.  Others talk hysterically of treason.

Others see the summit as a damp squib, which will change nothing and which will leave the relationship between the U.S. and Russia and between Russia and the West essentially unchanged, with the current state of hostility continuing indefinitely unabated.

In my opinion both views are wrong (the first obviously so) and both misunderstand, and in the case of the first wilfully misrepresent, what actually happened in Helsinki.

I discussed the background to the summit in an article I wrote a month ago for The Duran at a time when first reports that the summit was in the offing were beginning to circulate.

In that article I said that there was no possibility that Putin would make unilateral concessions to Trump over the status of Crimea or over the conflict in Ukraine and that the idea that he would agree to the U.S. and Ukrainian proposal for a peacekeeping force to be deployed to the Donbass was certainly wrong and that that idea had already been categorically ruled out by the Russians.

I was also skeptical that there would be any sort of ‘grand bargain’ between the U.S. and the Russians over Syria.

On the subject of Syria, in the weeks leading up to the summit there were some media reports suggesting that Donald Trump was coming under pressure from Israel, the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates to agree a deal at the summit with Putin whereby Russia would be granted sanctions relief and possibly even recognition of Crimea, US troops in Syria would be withdrawn, and in return the Russians would agree that Iranian forces would be expelled from Syria.

The Russians were clearly worried by these reports.  Not only did they go out of their way to deny them, but Putin and Lavrov held talks in Moscow on 12th July 2018 with Ali Akbar Velayati, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s Special Adviser on International Relations, in order to reassure the Iranians that they were not true.

‘Grand Bargain’ Unlikely

As I explained in my lengthy discussion of Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Moscow on Victory Day, it would in fact be wholly contrary to established principles of Russian foreign policy for the Russians to agree to a ‘grand bargain’ like this.

From the Russian point of view relations between Iran and Syria are relations between two sovereign nations and are none of Russia’s business.

Golan Heights. Photo: Israeltourism.com

Not only is it not Russia’s business to interfere in whatever relations Iran and Syria have with each other, but Russia lacks the means to do so anyway, with any request from Moscow to Tehran and Damascus to sever or downgrade their relations certain to be refused, and with Russia having no means to force either country to comply with such a request save through steps which would put at risk its relations with both of these countries.

All Russia would achieve were it ever to make such a request would be to damage its relations with Iran and Syria and lose face, bringing down upon itself accusations of bad faith from the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel when it inevitably failed to follow through.

Here is what I said about how Putin would respond to a demand from Netanyahu to rein in the Iranians in Syria if it were made to him during Netanyahu’s Victory Day visit, and nothing which has happened since would have caused Putin to change his position.

Contrary to what some people are saying, I think it is most unlikely that Putin would have given Netanyahu any assurances that Russia would act to rein in Iranian activities in Syria.If Netanyahu asked Putin for such assurances (which I also think unlikely) Putin would almost certainly have told him what the Russians always say when faced with requests for such assurances: Iran and Syria are sovereign states and Russia cannot interfere in arrangements two sovereign states make with each other.

I suspect that the source of some of the stories about a ‘grand bargain’ between Putin and Trump involving the role of the Iranians in Syria is the regular discussions the Russians have with the Israelis, the Iranians and the Syrians whereby the Russians routinely pass on to the Iranians and the Syrians Israeli concerns about the presence of Iranian forces in Syria in particular locations as well as Israeli concerns about specific actions which the Iranians take.

A good example of these sort of discussions was an exchange between Putin and Netanyahu during Netanyahu’s most recent trip to Moscow on 11th July 2018.  The Kremlin’s website reports Netanyahu and Putin saying the following to each other:

Benjamin Netanyahu: ……….Of course, our focus is on developments in Syria, the presence of Iran. This is not new to you. Several hours ago, an unmanned aerial vehicle entered the territory of Israel from Syria and was successfully brought down. I would like to emphasise that we will counter any and all attempts to violate our air or land borders.

Cooperation between us is an essential, key factor that can stabilise the entire region. So, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and discuss these things.

Vladimir PutinWe are aware of your concerns. Let us discuss them in detail.

 

The Russians are not engaged here in discussions over some sort of ‘grand bargain’ to remove all Iranian troops from Syria, which as I have said they would see as counterproductive and impossible.  Rather they are engaged in the classic diplomatic exercise of conflict prevention: keeping the Israelis, the Iranians and the Syrians informed about each other’s moves and red lines in order to prevent an uncontrolled escalation of the conflict between them, which might risk an all-out war, which nobody wants, and which the Russians are doing their best to prevent.

Recent reports of an understanding between the Israelis, the Iranians and the Syrians supposedly brokered by the Russians whereby Iranian forces agreed not to participate in the Syrian army’s ongoing military operations in south west Syria close to the Israeli occupied Golan Heights are a case in point.

The Iranians and the Syrians  agreed to this, not because the Russians forced them to but because it is in their interest to.  The Syrian army does not need Iranian help to defeat the Jihadis in southwest Syria so keeping the Iranians away from the area allows the Syrians to clear the area of the Jihadis without risking a military confrontation with Israel.

Needless to say, just as the Russians were not prepared to make concessions on Crimea and Donbass or on Syria, so they were not prepared to back Donald Trump’s ongoing campaign against Iran.

Not only are the Russians deeply committed to the JCPOA (which they partly brokered) but they are also committed to improving their relations with Iran.   In addition, given that the ongoing U.S. campaign against Iran is clearly intended to achieve regime change there, the Russians are bound to oppose it because they oppose regime change everywhere.

If the Russians were not prepared to make unilateral concessions to Trump on Crimea, Donbass, Syria or Iran, neither was Trump despite all the pre-summit scaremongering going to make unilateral concessions to Russians.

Stories that Trump would announce a cancellation of U.S. military exercises in Europe or even a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Europe had no basis in reality, and needless to say nothing like that happened.  Nor did Donald Trump recognise Crimea as Russian or announce that he would lift sanctions on Russia.

The Question of Crimea

Simferopol, Crimea.

The question of the sanctions and of the recognition of Crimea as Russian requires a little discussion since there is a widespread view that Trump is prevented by the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATS) from either lifting the sanctions or from recognising Crimea as Russian

This is something of a misconception.  In reality, as I discussed last year at the time when CAATS was enacted, CAATS is unconstitutional, as Donald Trump himself carefully explained in his Signing Statement, because of the unconstitutional restrictions it places on the President’s ability to conduct foreign policy.

If and when Donald Trump decides that the time has come to lift the sanctions and to recognise Crimea as Russian, then all he has to do is apply to the U.S. Supreme Court to have CAATS set aside.  His Signing Statement shows that he has had legal advice that it will do so.

That point has not yet been reached for political not legal reasons.  In the meantime it is an error to think of CAATS as the insuperable constraint on Donald Trump’s actions that many appear to believe it is.

Trump did not commit himself to lift the sanctions, and he did not recognise Crimea as Russian, not so much because of the legal constraints placed upon him by CAATS but because doing so would have put at risk his political position in the US in advance of November’s mid-term elections, and because – compulsive deal-maker that he is – he is hardly likely to take such radical steps anyway without first getting something back in return.

One of the fundamental problems caused by the hysterical campaign which is being waged against Donald Trump is that it causes even many of Donald Trump’s supporters to believe that he is more supportive of Russia’s positions on a variety of issues than he really is.  The result is that he is constantly suspected of being prepared to make unilateral concessions to the Russians when unilateral concessions are precisely the sort of things which as a self-professed master deal-maker he is known to most abhor.

Donald Trump is – as he repeatedly says – an America First nationalist, and his overriding priority is to make what he considers to be the best possible deal for the United States.  Unilateral concessions just don’t come into it and it is a fundamental error to think that they do.

Putin understands all this very well, as he made clear during his joint press conference with Trump in Helsinki.

Vladimir Putin: Regarding whom you can believe and whom you can’t, you shouldn’t believe anyone. What makes you think President Trump trusts me and that I fully trust him? He defends the interests of the United States of America. I defend the interests of the Russian Federation. We do have converging interests, and we are seeking common ground. We have issues that we disagree on so far. We are seeking options to settle these differences and make our work more constructive.

Which brings me to the fundamental reason for the summit, and why it is also a mistake in my opinion to see it as an empty show or a damp squib.

Donald Trump sought the summit – it is clear that the initiative for the summit came from him – because as he has repeatedly said since before he was elected President, prior to the summit he did not know Putin well.

The number of times Trump has said this is in fact practically beyond count.  For example, he said it during a news conference in Miami on 27th June 2016

I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. … I never met Putin….

He also said it during the second Presidential debate on 9th October 2016

I don’t know Putin….

Trump has gone on to say the same thing again and again since.  He has also repeatedly said that only time would tell whether he and Putin would get on with each other and would be able to come to agreements with each other.

The Need for a One-on-One

As the summit began(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

A fundamental prerequisite for any successful negotiation is for the two parties to the negotiation to know each other’s minds so that a modicum of trust and understanding – essential if any agreement is to be reached – can be established between them.

As a businessman Trump knows this very well.  He therefore needed to meet with Putin in a lengthy one-to-one encounter in order to get to know Putin properly so as to see whether Putin is in fact the sort of person he can negotiate and eventually do a deal with.

That is the reason why Trump insisted that his first meeting with Putin should take the form of a one-to-one encounter.

That by the way is absolutely standard practice in negotiations – both commercial negotiations and diplomatic negotiations – with leaders of negotiating teams often meeting privately in one-to-one meetings in order to get to know each other better to see whether a deal between them is even possible.  Once a proper relationship between them is established the full negotiating teams can be brought into the negotiations in what in diplomacy are called ‘plenary sessions’.  Needless to say it is during the plenary sessions – with each side’s experts present – that the details are discussed and ironed out.

Not only is this standard practice in negotiations – Putin does it all the time – but it is simply not true as some people are suggesting that there was no one else present in the room when Putin and Trump met with each other.

Both Putin and Trump obviously had interpreters present.  Trump doesn’t speak Russian and Putin speaks English badly.  The job of the interpreters – who are full time state officials – is not just to interpret what the leaders say to each other but also to prepare a written transcript (a “stenographic record”) of what they said.

Once this transcript is written up – something which normally takes no more than a few days – it is circulated to senior officials including in the U.S. case to the U.S. President’s two most important foreign policy advisers, Bolton and Pompeo.  By now it is highly likely that Bolton and Pompeo have already seen and read through the transcript, and that they therefore know exactly what Putin and Trump said to each other.

Since the one-to-one meeting was first and foremost a “get-to-know” you session, no binding agreements would have been reached during it, and neither Putin nor Trump – each in their own way an experienced negotiator – would ever have imagined that they would be.

In summary, the one-to-one meeting between Putin and Trump is not a sign of some secret understanding between them; far less is it a case of an “intelligence asset” meeting his “controller” as some are crazily suggesting.

On the contrary it is further proof of what each of them has repeatedly said at various times: before the summit they did not know each other well, so that the summit was called precisely in order to give each of them the opportunity to get to know the other better.

The essential point about the summit is that Putin and Trump did find that they could deal with each other and did discover areas of common concern which in time it might be possible for them to build on as they search for areas of agreement between them.  During their joint press conference Putin confirmed as much:

We do have converging interests, and we are seeking common ground. We have issues that we disagree on so far. We are seeking options to settle these differences and make our work more constructive.

As for the points of possible convergence, Putin in his usual structured way set them out:

I consider it important, as we discussed, to get the dialogue on strategic stability and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction on track. We made a note with a number of concrete proposals on this matter available to our American colleagues.

We believe that continued joint efforts to fully work through the military-political and disarmament dossier is necessary. That includes the renewal of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, the dangerous situation surrounding the development of elements of the US global missile defence system, the implementation of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, and the topic of deploying weapons in space.

We are in favour of continued cooperation in the sphere of combating terrorism and ensuring cybersecurity. Notably, our special services are working together quite successfully. The most recent example of that is the close operational interaction with a group of US security experts as part of the World Cup in Russia that ended yesterday. Contacts between the special services should be made systematic. I reminded the President of the United States about the proposal to reconstitute the anti-terror working group.

We covered regional crises extensively. Our positions do not coincide on all matters, but nonetheless there are many overlapping interests. We should be looking for common ground and working more closely, including at international forums.

Of course, we talked about regional crises, including Syria. With regard to Syria, restoring peace and harmony in that country could serve as an example of successful joint work.

Of course, Russia and the United States can take the lead in this matter and organise cooperation to overcome the humanitarian crisis and help refugees return to their hearths.

We have all the requisite elements for effective cooperation on Syria. Notably, Russian and American military have gained useful experience of interaction and coordination in the air and on land.

I would also like to note that after the terrorists are routed in southwest Syria, in the so-called “southern zone”, the situation in the Golan Heights should be brought into full conformity with the 1974 agreement on the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces.

This will make it possible to bring tranquillity to the Golan Heights and restore the ceasefire between the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Israel. The President devoted special attention to this issue today…..

We paid special attention to the economy. Obviously, there is interest in cooperation in the business circles of both countries. The US delegation was one of the biggest at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in May. It consisted of over 500 US entrepreneurs.

To develop trade and investment, President Trump and I agreed to establish a high-level group that would unite captains of Russian and American business. Business people better understand how to go about mutually beneficial cooperation. Let them consider what can be done and make recommendations.

The Nuclear Issue

George H.W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign Start II Treaty, Moscow, Jan. 4, 1993.

The emphasis – as I discussed in my article of a month ago – is on arms control, though Putin also seems to have gone out of his way to reassure Trump that the restoration of the Syrian government’s control over southwest Syria would not put in jeopardy Israel’s position in the Golan Heights.  In addition there also seems to have been a fair amount of discussion about future economic cooperation.

The result was an agreement between Putin and Trump to reopen channels of communication between their governments and to meet regularly with each other as they feel their way towards a rapprochement.

To be clear, that rapprochement will not mean and is not intended to mean that the U.S. and Russia will cease to be adversaries and will become friends.

Instead what is being discussed are steps to bring to a stop the downward spiral in their relations, with each side obtaining a better understanding of the other side’s moves and red lines, so that hopefully geopolitical disasters like the 2014 Maidan coup can be avoided in future.

That would be a major advance over what has existed previously given that since the USSR collapsed in 1991 the U.S. has refused to acknowledge that Russia has any right to any opinions at all, let alone to act independently or set out red lines.

Needless to say the more often Putin and Trump meet the more ‘normalised’ relations between the US and Russia become, with each meeting provoking less controversy than the previous one, with the whole process beyond a certain point becoming routine so that it attracts ever less attention and (hopefully) eventually becomes uncontroversial.

It is because the powerful forces in the U.S. who scorn the idea of a ‘geopolitical ceasefire’ and want ever greater confrontation between the U.S. and Russia do not want to see relations ‘normalised’ in this way that their reaction to the summit has been so hysterical.

As of the time of writing it is these people who in the media and on twitter are making the running.  However it may be a mistake to see in the volume of the noise they are making a true reflection of their influence.

Last February’s Nuclear Posture Review suggests that there is a very powerful constituency within the U.S. and specifically within the Pentagon which might potentially support the sort of ‘geopolitical ceasefire’ with Russia that Donald Trump appears to be gradually working towards.

The Nuclear Posture Review shows that some sections of the US military understand how dangerously overstretched the US has become as it responds simultaneously to challenges from Russia in Europe and from China in the Pacific.  Both Putin and Trump mentioned during their news conference the extent to which their respective militaries are already in contact with each other and are working well together

Donald Trump: Well, our militaries do get along. In fact, our militaries actually have gotten along probably better than our political leaders for years, but our militaries do get along very well and they do coordinate in Syria and other places. Ok? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:……..On the whole, I really agree with the President. Our military cooperation is going quite well. I hope that they will continue to be able to come to agreements just as they have been…..

That may be a sign that there is more understanding of what Donald Trump is trying to do – at least within the U.S. defence establishment – than the hysteria the Helsinki summit has provoked might suggest.

Overall, provided it is clearly understood that what Putin and Trump are working towards is a detente style ‘geopolitical ceasefire’ and not ‘friendship’ – and certainly not an alliance –  it can be said that their summit in Helsinki was a good start and a success.

What happens next depends on whether the forces of realism and sanity in the U.S. can prevail over those of megalomania and hysteria.  Given how entrenched the latter have become unfortunately no one can count on this.

However some sort of process which may in time lead to detente and an easing of tensions between the nuclear superpowers has begun.  Given the circumstances in which it has been launched that is more than might have been expected even a short time ago, and for that one should be grateful.

This article originally appeared on The Duran.

Alexander Mercouris is a political commentator and editor of The Duran.

 

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72 comments for “Meanwhile, About Those Other Issues at the Summit

  1. August 2, 2018 at 2:59 am

    “However some sort of process which may in time lead to detente and an easing of tensions between the nuclear superpowers has begun.” However, the American State, which absolutely practices deception (remember NATO?), to go along with its regime change course, is going to suddenly become an entirely different creature, seeking peace and eschewing war and never, never deceiving anyone? The ‘defense’ contractors might have a thing or two to say about that.

  2. Brian
    July 23, 2018 at 12:13 am

    I’m so curious as to the reaction of so many here who appear think of Trump as a courageous truth-teller, game-changer and seeker of peace. Seems that things aren’t looking real good and he’s basically openly threatening a nuclear attack (again…) I guess since this is his own Twitter account it’s harder to create a deep dark web, huh?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/22/world/middleeast/trump-threatens-iran-twitter.html?action=Click&contentCollection=BreakingNews&contentID=67363538&pgtype=Homepage

  3. July 22, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    A very well written piece. Not sure I would wholly trust anything coming out from “the duran” website, no more than I would wholly trust anything coming from one of our garbage news networks (CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC, etc.) They are all very bias in their reporting of news events. The “WHOLE” truth is broken down into segments that are accepted by their very targeted audience. Alexander Mercouris sounds and writes like he is very pro Russia. There are also many who write and sound like they are very anti-Russia. So as always the reader is always left “who do we believe” attitude after many of these “pro/con” articles. Me, I don’t believe that things are not that black or white as many writers lead us to believe in their written articles or vocal commentaries. Believing that politicians, whether U.S. or world wide, would be completely honest in what they say, have said, or discussed with other politicians, when they stand before the microphones and cameras to explain what has been discussed, is for the weak minded or the very naive.

  4. Lolita
    July 22, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Obviously the repatriation of the “Nobel” nominated White Helmets, Le Mesurier’s mercenaries that only saved Syrians in Al Nusra’s garden, financed among others by Soros, through Israel and Jordan must be accounted as one of the consequence of Helsinki.
    Yesterday, thanks to CBC’s Murray Brewster, we learned that Canadian “Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made ‘an impassioned plea’ to her NATO colleagues, according to several sources.”
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/syria-russia-white-helmet-1.4749380

    Helping Azov is not enough, and the sulfurous family past evacuated by the same CBC last year, she can now help the Al Nusra medics/fighters coming to a neighborhood near you! Such passion!

    “The Liberal government has agreed to accept up to 50 of the White Helmet volunteers and their families, which could mean up to 250 people, according to senior officials who could not speak on the record because of the sensitive nature of the operation.”
    Sensitive nature indeed…

    So sensitive that Murray’s CBC story had to be propped up and updated this morning with no less than 4 new images/video showing the White Helmets saving children… Including one that looks like the blond child who was “saved” at least 3 times in different cities…

    And to justify this “humanitarian” expedition, Brewster explains that “The White Helmets and their families were trapped in what had been — until recently — rebel-held territory”.
    Recently???? What is recently Murray? At least 5 years?

    No comments are allowed on the story. Let’s bet that in the next few weeks, months, CBC may likely offer some marshmallow reports about how your favorite Al Nusra neighbor is resettling in our inclusive community and that it would be very un-Canadian not to offer your house, your car to them for free.

    Thank you CBC.

  5. b.grand
    July 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Left and Right are irrelevant. It’s the People vs. the Deep State.

    George Galloway with guest Lee Stranahan
    https://www.rt.com/shows/sputnik/433866-far-right-agitation-britain/

    • Skip Scott
      July 23, 2018 at 10:57 am

      Good show. Thanks for the link.

  6. July 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    article link below.
    ————————————————————–
    ‘Russophobia runs amok’ in US, puts it on edge of war with Russia – Stephen Cohen
    Published time: 20 Jul, 2018 12:54Edited time: 21 Jul, 2018 09:01
    https://www.rt.com/usa/433798-russophobia-us-russia-war/

  7. anastasia
    July 21, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    This is the most thoughtful, comprehensive and sane understanding of what the summit was about that I have read. Sure does make the western media appear completely insane. I am really growing so weary of the western media. It’s completely in shambles, like our government..

    • A
      July 21, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      the confusion is real. try some Eastern media, maybe that can help.. Stay sane my friend.

  8. July 21, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Interesting video at link below.
    ——————————————————
    THIS A KEY MOMENT IN WORLD HISTORY: Deep State in Total Panic & Fully Exposed

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZCQm3o1lNE

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 21, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Excellent Stephen J. as usual. Many Thanks…

    • backwardsevolution
      July 22, 2018 at 5:29 am

      Stephen J. – thanks for posting that. It was a great listen!

  9. hetro
    July 21, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Seems very suitable to add in here recent, related analysis by David Stockman. Here are parts 1 and 2, with part 3 promised. Check the anti-war dot com site.

    His allusion to Salem in 1692 reminds of Arthur Miller’s brilliant drama, The Crucible.

    This is part 1 (july 19)

    https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2018/07/19/the-new-handmaids-of-the-warfare-state-dems-and-the-liberal-media/

    This is part 2 (july 20)

    https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2018/07/20/how-syria-and-ukraine-drove-the-russia-hawks-insane/

    Identified on anti-war.com as following (and list of his books on that site):

    “David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.”

  10. Brian
    July 21, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    For whomever thinks this site is some kind of free exchange of ideas, boldly put forward by the fearless, know that almost every one of my several contrary comments have been scrubbed in the past few days. No wonder why you all seem to have such an affinity for authoritarian rule…

    • Skip Scott
      July 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      Brian-

      Yeah, they don’t do trolls here. If you try making a rational argument based on evidence, you’ll probably have better luck.

  11. Gregory Herr
    July 21, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Tucker Carlson referred to Trump coming home and backtracking or “buckling” a bit–and then said this:

    “What is amazing, and unusual, and ominous–is who made him buckle. The people yelling the loudest about how the Russians are our greatest enemy and Trump is their puppet, happen to be the very same people who have been mismanaging our foreign policy for the past two decades. The people who invaded Iraq–and wouldn’t admit it was a mistake. The people who killed Muammar Gaddafi for no obvious reason and prolonged the horrible Syrian civil war–and then threw open the borders of Europe. The ones still defending the pointless Afghan conflict and even now [are] planning brand new disasters around the world–in Lebanon, Iran, and yes, Russia. These are the people who made America weaker, and poorer, and sadder–the group whose failures got Trump elected in the first place.

    You would think by this late date they would be discredited completely and unemployable–wearing uniforms and picking up trash by the side of a turnpike somewhere. But no they’re not. They’re hosting cable news shows–they’re holding high positions of influence at the State Department–they run virtually every non-profit public policy institution in Washington. They are still in some sense in charge of our national conversation.

    And naturally, they hate the idea of rethinking or correcting any of the countless blunders they have made over the years. And that’s one of the main reasons they hate Trump–because he calls them on those blunders. Now being Trump, he can’t always explain precisely what he means to say. Sometimes he gets the details wrong or he gets sidetracked by some personal vendetta…but on the big questions, Trump is indisputably right. The Cold War is over–the world has changed–it is time to rethink America’s alliances and to act in our own interest for once.
    Russia is not a close friend of the United States–but the question is, why should we consider Russia our mortal enemy?”

    There is more, but I’ll just finish with this beauty from Mr. Carlson:

    “Think for a second about what they are demanding. If you don’t automatically accept the imprecise, non-specific, never fully explained findings of shadowy intelligence agencies with long documented track records of making serious mistakes, you’ve somehow betrayed your country.”

    I saw this on the Jimmy Dore show. Carlson packed a pretty good punch. Hope he keeps his job and can help turn the tide a bit.

    • mike k
      July 21, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      Good comment. Thank you.

    • hetro
      July 21, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      I thought it interesting Trump added (as part of his buckling on the intelligence agencies) that Russia probably did interfere–then he added as did other countries probably. He didn’t handle this well, given his calling it a witch-hunt so many times, so I–as an example in trying to react to him–am off-balance again with his now this, now that, and now what??? It would seem (possibly) the “as did other countries probably” was a deflection to keep responses off balance, to deke and weave, the way he seems to be doing continually. I hope he has some good security people around him.

    • Realist
      July 21, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      Yes, I viewed those powerful remarks by Tucker early this morning on the Jimmy Dore show as well. Both Jimmy and his panel were blown away with how accurate were Tucker’s words and how much they agreed with him (except on Mexican migrants to the U.S. which they erroneously think have had no effect on American politics). They seemed to be most stunned by the fact that the network oligarchs actually allowed Tucker to say those things before the American public. Who else besides Jimmy and Stephen F. Cohen (on the John Batchelor Show) get to say such stuff outside of private conversations? I’m talking about on-air verbal remarks rather than the rarified opinion pieces published on-line by the “alternative media.” Tucker is really walking a line, having had the widely-blackballed Professor Cohen on his program several times to discuss these issues on Fox for its generally conservative and Republican audience. There is absolutely no counterpart speaking actual truth about them to liberals and Democrats on MSNBC, rather you get a lie per minute from the likes of Maddow, Reed, and Hayes.

      • Gregory Herr
        July 21, 2018 at 11:12 pm

        It’s one thing to question an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria…it’s quite another to make on-air verbal remarks on prime time network television deeply critical of the American foreign policy establishment and the “shadowy intelligence agencies”. Such things are just not allowed (for at least these last two decades). I was pleasantly “stunned” as well. To borrow an expression F. G. Sanford used earlier today, Carlson showed he’s got “more balls than a Christmas tree.” Good for him.

        • backwardsevolution
          July 22, 2018 at 4:46 am

          Gregory Herr – I watch Tucker Carlson every night on Youtube. If you wait for about an hour after his program airs, then you can watch the whole program with no commercials and even skip through the parts you’re not interested in. So much faster.

          Tucker is great. On Thursday or Friday he had on Rand Paul discussing the fact that John Brennan, James Clapper and Comey still have top secret security clearances, even though they no longer work for the government in any capacity. Yikes. He’s even going after these guys.

          It’s the only news I watch, other than a little bit of Sean Hannity, and only because he’s been covering Russiagate, the corruption and exoneration of Hillary Clinton, the DNC, the FISA Court applications, the illegal spying on Trump, etc. It’s like a spy novel.

          Yes, I sure hope Tucker can continue. I’m always shocked when he does his monologues. Paul Craig Roberts has even said that Tucker will not be allowed to say these things for much longer; they will shut him down.

          • Gregory Herr
            July 22, 2018 at 5:33 am

            Thanks for the tip b. e.

            I happened to catch the segment with Rand Paul Thursday night about those security clearances. Sure would like to be a fly on the wall for the Carlson show production meetings these days.

          • Skip Scott
            July 22, 2018 at 8:01 am

            Hi B.E.-

            I would be curious to know what Tucker’s ratings are. I’m thinking that his being the lone voice of reason is making Fox some big bucks. That said, they’ll still have to shut him down one way or the other if he keeps it up.

          • Realist
            July 22, 2018 at 9:52 am

            Well, I hope he doesn’t suddenly pass away of “natural causes” like Ed Schultz did recently.

          • backwardsevolution
            July 22, 2018 at 2:49 pm

            Gregory Herr – yes, I’d like to be a fly on the wall too. I guess Tucker would have to run his monologues past somebody before he does them. Whoever is running Fox has got guts.

            Skip Scott – I’ve heard Sean Hannity on several occasions (and he doesn’t make a big deal about it) mention that CNN and the other media outlet ratings are next to nothing and falling, while Fox’s ratings are climbing. I don’t doubt it. Tucker’s show is intelligent reporting, and Sean Hannity is chasing the corruption. They’re doing exactly what good news shows should do: inform the public.

            Realist – yes, Tucker is 49, the perfect age for an early heart attack. “I guess the stress was just too much for him” would be the explanation. If I were Tucker, I’d be watching what I eat and checking out my car before I got in.

  12. July 21, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Putin Phobia
    ————————————————————
    July 18, 2018
    Putin, Putin, Putin and More Putin

    Putin did this, Putin did that
    Putin fixed the election, how about that!
    Putin got inside silly American heads
    Putin had them voting for Trump instead (of Hillary)

    Putin is an aggressor so we are told
    Putin wants the West to join his fold
    Putin controls America, he won the election
    Putin is seen smiling was that satisfaction?

    Putin controls Trump so the media says
    Putin and Trump in Helsinki embrace
    Putin is devious the spy chiefs tell us
    Putin can’t be trusted, says the spy chorus

    Putin is everywhere and under your bed
    Putin only knows what he and Trump said
    Putin gave Trump a soccer ball as a present
    Putin controls Trump at the Helsinki event

    Putin is not our ally the warmongers say
    Putin is our enemy the ruling villains neigh
    Putin must be criticized so Trump backtracked
    Putin wants peace but the warmongers attack

    Putin will be held responsible for what happens
    Putin is the reason for all our weapons
    Putin as a villain makes profits for the war industry
    Putin will be blamed for destroying the country

    Putin must be vilified and made to pay
    Putin is our enemy forever and a day
    Putin must be told that him we deplore
    Putin will feel our wrath in a coming nuclear war

    Goodbye Putin, Good bye America Too
    America is Great Again if only it knew…

    [more info at link below]

    http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/07/putin-putin-putin-and-more-putin.html

    • backwardsevolution
      July 22, 2018 at 4:31 am

      Well done, Stephen.

  13. Skip Scott
    July 21, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Thank you for this rational assessment of the summit. If we had a functioning MSM, instead of a propaganda tool of the Deep State, this is the type of reporting we’d be seeing on television.

  14. mike k
    July 21, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Three minute Hate? The unrelenting MSM drumbeat now is – Hate Putin! Hate Trump! Destroy Russia! Destroy Trump!

    This is what a fake democracy like the United States looks like, when it’s pretty mask comes off. Disgusting and frightening.

    And the clueless sheeple graze on, as if nothing is happening……

    • mike k
      July 21, 2018 at 8:13 am

      There is a price to be payed for being awake, but I would not have it any other way.

    • JMG
      July 21, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Mike, I think you mean this, indeed basically the orwellian corporate/CIA media of 2018:

      Two minutes of hate 1984
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KeX5OZr0A4

  15. Brian
    July 20, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Where were you able to find a readout of this summit?

  16. hetro
    July 20, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Another excellent analysis by Alexander Mercouris, as with his work at The Duran.

    I posted a recent Gallup Survey yesterday, which was deleted, and I would like to post it here again at https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-19/gallup-shows-how-much-americans-really-care-about-situation-russia

    Source: Gallup

    As David Sirota noted, “Gallup recently did a poll of what Americans say is the most important problem facing the country. One finding: the percentage of Americans saying “Situation with Russia” is the most important problem is literally too small to represent with a number. ”

    Big numbers can be found on immigration/illegal aliens (22); dissatisfaction with government, poor leadership (19); the economy in general (14). The “situation with Russia” = * (no statistical significance).

    Date of this polling is July 1 – 11 2018.

    Again, the question asked was: “What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?”

    (I welcome corrections if my impressions of this polling are incorrect or misleading.)

    It is truly amazing and ironic that Trump has upended the apple cart to the reversal we are currently seeing. The over the top nonsense surprises me, coming from people like Brennan and Comey, who I thought possessed some intelligence, but apparently are now at such desperation they must resort to complete nonsense. It reminds me of John Birch hysteria from the late 50’s and early 60’s. Alexander’s analysis, as usual, provides the depth, the sobriety, and the factual basis for a fair and reasonable assessment of the Helsinki Summit.

    Such an assessment, however, is the last thing wanted by those whose modus operandi and first cause is to brainwash the public for ulterior, hidden purposes. I do feel, however, that we should keep in mind, as with the polling indication above, that this brainwashing is not working very effectively at this time. Trump’s numbers were rising to around 48 percent approval just before the Helsinki Summit. I cannot find info on what his numbers are today.

    In my view, the DEMS, as with being led by Brennan and Comey, are toward a last resort type of behavior, yanking on the chain of red hysteria that maybe worked at one time during Soviet Union times, especially in the 50’s. It is very interesting to read Gaeton Fonzi’s The Last Investigation, for example, a fine analysis of the Kennedy murder (published in 1993), to find Kennedy and Kruschev actually cooperating at the time, in their efforts to avoid a nuclear holocaust. Both were subject to the kind of hysterical demonizing we now witness once again, and that led on to Kennedy’s assassination. At that time I thought, myself being brainwashed, that Kruschev was a monstrous thug and psychopath, much the way today’s mindless demonizing is washed over Putin.

    I hope not to be seen as a naïve optimist here, or a Trump advocate. I am very critical of much of his program, and interested to see aspects of what he’s doing that are new and refreshing. I do see him advancing and learning, and that he is underrated. Also, I do not see who at this time would be more effective in terms of Undoing The System. Perhaps he wishes to put in place His Own System, equally as heinous. Again, I suggest we need to keep on with very careful analysis based on evidence, as with Alexander Mercouris’s work here, and Robert Parry’s before him.

    • Dave P.
      July 20, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      Excellent comments.

      You write: “At that time I thought, myself being brainwashed, that Khrushchev was a monstrous thug and psychopath, much the way today’s mindless demonizing is washed over Putin.”

      You are dead right. That is what happens when you brainwash the population. Nikita Khrushchev, son of the peasants from DonBass was a not what was preached here. Those of us who grew up during 1950’s in India had totally opposite view of him. He had a peasants heart, some kind of attachment and bond to the land, its people, and Nature. As it happens to leaders, and the people in most countries, he was caught up in the System there and served it.

      In his devastating account of Soviet Communism in Gulag Archapelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, at many places in his books is very soft on Khrushchev. At one place he writes (my words):

      “(Brought up in the Orthodox church as a child), Nikita Khruschev always talked about our common humanity on Earth. Nikita failed to discover his true nature, his soul. Nikita would have been a very benevolent Czar.”

      One of Khrushchev pictures consoling an elderly woman in the devastated landscape of Eastern Ukraine with winter snow during World War II shows this pain on his face, which is so memorable.

      It is good news that Trump is trying to build bridges instead of promoting enmity with Russia, as the Democrats and other Establishment is doing.

      • hetro
        July 21, 2018 at 10:57 am

        Thank you, Dave P, for this further commentary on Khrushchev. Dehumanizing should be an automatic red flag at this time, however it occurs.

      • KB Gloria
        July 25, 2018 at 12:59 pm

        All the establishment politicians are promoting enmity with the Russians–down here in NC, Burr is totally losing it. REPs started the whole hate Russia (Russia + China =Communism–the very big bad) and they stampeded regime change all through South American on that position, as well as disposing of Kennedy. (BTW– unaffiliated voter here).

    • Mild -ly Facetious
      July 21, 2018 at 9:46 am

      hetro – – “Again, the question asked was: “What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?”

      (I welcome corrections if my impressions of this polling are incorrect or misleading.)

      ()

      Most important problem, at this moment, – for Trump, is Rudy Gulliani and Trump vs. Lanny Davis and Michael Cohen… .
      This may be the Mano Y Mono legal battle of the New York City decade.

      I pick Davis to outsmart Rudy and bring an end to his superfluous, threatening monolog.

      – ‘It’s time to shut up and sit down, Rudy’!

      “Time Has Come Today” !!

  17. KiwiAntz
    July 20, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Isn’t it ironic that honest journalists & folks such as Julian Assange & Edward Snowden, real heroes in exposing the truth, are in hiding, fearing for their lives & basically on house arrest in other Countries while these purveyors of propaganda & falsehoods in the MSM are free to walk & act with impunity to slander & defame Trump & Putin’s reputations, dragging them through their mud of lies! And what’s their crime? They want to normalise peaceful relations & pull us back from the brink of Nuclear Armageddon! Trump needs to start aggressively pursueing “so called Journalists” such as Rachel Maddow & Anderson Cooper & charging them & their fake news agencies with slander in a attempt to conduct a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Govt of the US & its President! They should be named & shamed as traitors, enemies of the state & charged with treason with the death penalty imposed! Trump should declare a state of emergency against the MSM & round up the Leaders of CNN, MSNBC & all these others who are undermining the Presidency & the American nation! Something has to be done to stop this fake Russiagate nonsense & endless BS & the only way to do this is too cut off the MSM, snakes head to stop the lies & mistruths & if it takes a few heads on spikes to achieve this, in a game of thrones scenario, then so be it!

    • Sam F
      July 20, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      True, and practical means exist to end the propaganda, given the will.

      When the mass media are protected from domination by money, we will have public debate of all policy viewpoints by experts instead of propagandists. When elections and the federal branches are reformed, we will have far more beneficial policies. This requires amendments to restrict funding of elections and mass media to limited individual contributions, and better checks and balances to limit executive power. We must rely upon diplomacy and aid rather than bullying, renegotiate NATO as purely defensive, and eliminate AUMFs.

      Our poorly regulated economy allows unethical bullies to prevail and deny us democracy. Requiring truth in manufacturing and advertising, plus heavily taxing incomes over twice the average, will remove most incentives for unethical conduct.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 20, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      Kiwi – I’m sure Trump would love to split up/fine/charge the MSM, but the problem is he has nobody there to back him up. The Democrats want him to fail (and the media are most definitely on the Democrat’s side) and too many Republicans are standing back and letting Trump hang himself. The problem is as Sam says, the two parties are really one party, and because the politicians are more beholden to their corporate masters, they are all too happy to see Trump twist in the wind. It’s a terrible situation.

      I’m sure Trump would end NATO tomorrow if he could wave a magic wand. He’d also bring all the boys home and end the wars too. But he can’t. He’s hamstrung. Right now it’s go along or get assassinated/impeached.

      What people need to realize is Trump, the outsider, is up against all of the insiders, the Deep State. If people do not get behind Trump now, no outsider will ever get in again, and the country will continue to spiral down and be lost forever.

      • Brian
        July 20, 2018 at 10:44 pm

        His own FCC appointee, the Chairman, is aggressively in favor of media consolidation, with extremely few exceptions. If Trump wants to do anything to media it would be to get the number of owners down and amplify those voices on the right like Fox. Just non-factual that he’s shown any knowledge of or intent to split anything up. Hw is it that you think this clearly uninformed man has such wonderful, underappreciated intentions?

        • backwardsevolution
          July 21, 2018 at 4:59 am

          I highly doubt Trump would favor further media consolidation. I mean, 90% of all media is owned by six corporations already. I think all he’d like to see is some fairness in reporting. Some survey done awhile back pointed out that CNN and other media outlets had something like 93% negative reporting on Trump.

          Other than Fox, whose ratings and numbers are increasing, the rest of the media are not doing too well. Their ratings are declining and they’re losing viewers. Do you think it’s because they’re too biased and people are actually detecting this bias? The hysteria is over the top crazy, calling Trump a fascist, a Nazi, Hitler, Putin’s lover, a traitor to his country, treasonous. Common sense and fairness trumps insanity any day of the week.

          No, I don’t think Trump has directed his mind to this area, but he surely needs to. What needs to happen is the repeal of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (brought to us by none other than Bill Clinton):

          “The act dramatically reduced important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership, and allowed giant corporations to buy up thousands of media outlets across the country, increasing their monopoly on the flow of information in the United States and around the world.”

          Bad move. These corporations need to be split up into a thousand pieces again. And the Fairness Doctrine needs to be reinstated:

          “The Fairness Doctrine of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the FCC’s view—honest, equitable, and balanced.”

          If Trump isn’t impeached (which the media are working hard to bring about), perhaps he’ll get around to it. He campaigned on wanting to stop the wars, reduce or end NATO, and reverse globalization; maybe he’ll take on the media corporations as well.

          • Skip Scott
            July 21, 2018 at 1:52 pm

            The big thing about the Fairness Doctrine is that it kept a lid on editorializing the news. I remember as a kid hearing quite often at the end of a newscast: “Here with a rebuttal to last night’s editorial is Joe Blow”. Nine times out of ten I agreed with Joe Blow. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to get equal time to refute Rachel Maddow every night?

          • backwardsevolution
            July 21, 2018 at 3:54 pm

            Skip Scott – “The big thing about the Fairness Doctrine is that it kept a lid on editorializing the news.” Exactly. Can you just imagine if it were still around? The American people would then stand half a chance of understanding what’s going on in the world. At least you’d hear “some” of the other side as opposed to now where all you get is a steady stream of propaganda.

            As far as Rachel Maddow goes, I honestly don’t know how she looks at herself in the mirror. I mean, what does she see looking back? I’ve probably watched her show two times; it was all I could take.

            Tucker Carlson is obviously more conservative, but at least he has on guests every night with an opposing point of view. This helps you figure out where you stand on the issues.

            I think the Deep State is fighting for their very existence. Brennan and Clapper are probably providing their services for free. It’s either that or jail time.

          • Brian
            July 25, 2018 at 12:26 am

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/07/25/trump-criticizes-fcc-moving-block-sinclair-tribune-merger/?utm_term=.7e46150316c4

            “Trump sees FCC opposition to Sinclair’s purchase of Tribune as ‘sad and unfair’

            Days after his top communications regulator raised “serious concerns” about Sinclair’s proposed acquisition of Tribune Media, President Trump tweeted that the deal would have created “a great and much needed Conservative voice” in the industry.”

      • J2027
        July 22, 2018 at 12:01 am

        You’re not entirely wrong. But what is it that makes you believe Trump has any intention of altering the inherently corrupt system that he has benefited from his whole adult life?

        • backwardsevolution
          July 22, 2018 at 4:26 am

          J2027 – why would Trump want to alter the system? I think he likes the system, but realizes, as did FDR, that if the system gets too unequal, you risk losing the whole thing.

          As I mentioned above, the Fairness Doctrine could be reinstated and the monopolies broken up re the media. That would go a long way to providing fairness in reporting again.

          Trump mentioned reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, the separation between commercial and investment banking. Let the investment banks gamble and speculate all they want, but THEY take the losses whenever they cause a crisis (as they often do).

          Trump understands the importance of “fair trade”, he sees the downsides to globalization, the offshoring of jobs, and flooding the U.S. market with cheap Mexican labor. He wants to stop the wars, using the money saved to build infrastructure instead.

          I could go on and on. No, I don’t think he’s a saint by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think he understands that if the elite continue to rob the country, there won’t be a country left, and that will be no benefit to him or anybody else.

        • KB Gloria
          July 25, 2018 at 1:00 pm

          Indeed!

    • vinnieoh
      July 20, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      I believe Sam F was trying to be polite. I would ask you to re-read what you posted and ask if that is what you really believe is the path the US should go down now? An authoritarian dictatorial executive seize and execute some talking heads? Really? I mean – really?

      The people you’re railing against made fools of themselves this week, but, not good enough for you, you want them executed? From my swivel chair I’m wondering if you’ve had one too many beers or mixed up your medications. I know that is a cliché response to an outrageous post, but really, you’ve outdone those you castigate.

      By the standards you expressed above, while Obama et al were trying to finalize the JCPOA he should have put all of the GOP and a good portion of the Dems (including Hillary) in solitary confinement and executed a few of the loudest naysayers just to show how badass he was. And when Netanyahu was invited by the GOP to address Congress to trash Obama (who was overwhelmingly elected twice both by popular vote and electoral college,) the JCPOA, and the glimmer of peaceful non-proliferation, he should have shot down Bibi’s plane before it landed. I want none of your dystopian fantasy, and please, please, please, don’t get behind the wheel; there are innocent people out there.

      • Sam F
        July 21, 2018 at 7:05 am

        KiwiAntz is from NZ so others should suggest detailed means. He is correct that an overreaching executive would be the least violent means of structural reform, but of course violence should be avoided where possible. It does not seem that Trump is likely to be the one to see and achieve the reforms. But pacifism does not remove tyranny:
        1. Restoring democracy requires elimination of oligarchy funding of mass media and elections, which cannot be done peacefully because those are the tools of democracy.
        2. The judiciary has no role at all in reform: it is almost 100 percent corrupt fake patriots who deny rights or law beyond their party and identity group;
        3. Political demonstrations are no longer covered by mass media;
        4. Political commentary groups are educational families but do not achieve the results;
        5. Functioning movements do not end tyranny without a direct action wing;
        6. The US is run by tyrants, who are persuaded only in their language of force and fear;
        7. The US needs action, not identity squabbles: else one consents to enslavement;
        8. The challenge is to speak the language of force without losing moral perspective.
        9. Surprises happen, and we must be prepared to sweep in and effect change.
        This is the good fight, and humanity will win at last.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 21, 2018 at 7:19 am

        vinnieoh – The media are actually inciting violence here and somebody IS going to get killed. You can see it coming.

        I don’t even know what to call what they’re doing. It is an out-and-out full frontal attack on a sitting President. What would you call it? It looks like sedition (conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state) to me. Or how about subversion (the undermining of the power and authority of an established system or institution)?

        The media are joined at the hip and in collusion with the Democrats and former government officials from the FBI, CIA and other departments. What they are doing is criminal. There’s no other way to describe it. This is the Deep State trying to reclaim their power.

        Somebody IS going to get killed. Who is it going to be?

        • mike k
          July 21, 2018 at 8:00 am

          Absolutely right B.E. The MSM, Deep State, Intel, democrat pols, neocons – all are crying for someone to eliminate Trump – dead or alive. They are making out that the Donald is an archfiend intent on treasonous actions to destroy America. They are dog whistling their heads off for his assassination.

          This dark side of America ironically makes Trump look pretty good!

    • Robert
      July 20, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Best comment I’ve heard yet.

    • Brian
      July 20, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      Is this an act of some sort? Are you aware of the slander laws in this country? What legal mechanism are you suggesting he use to declare a state of emergency? Did Trump have a “good” reputation before the summit? Did Putin? You really want to kill journalists for beig “against the state”? L’état, c’est Trump, apparently. It’s amazing how many smart people have decided to flip if this is all fake. And all those guilty pleas You’re going to have a really bad rest of the year.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 21, 2018 at 7:39 am

        Brian – “What legal mechanism are you suggesting he use to declare a state of emergency”? I don’t know; you tell us. How about sedition? Subversion?

        How about Trump order all documents be released with regards to the Mueller investigation, the FISA Court applications, et cetera? How about we get a hold of Hillary’s servers? How about a full audit of the Clinton Foundation? How about a proper investigation into Uranium One? How about we get the NSA to hand over the 30,000 subpoenaed emails that Hillary deleted? How about an investigation into the improper exoneration of Hillary Clinton? How about an indepth forensic examination of the DNC servers to determine once and for all whether it was a “hack” or a “leak”? How about somebody actually interview Craig Murray, the British ambassador who handed over the thumb drive to Wiki Leaks? How about we get to the bottom of the spying that was done on Trump? How about we get a hold of all of Brennan’s/Comey’s/Clapper’s emails and cell phones?

        Yes, one big steaming pile of corruption, and yet you have the nerve to say “L’etat, c’est Trump”? Really?

        Nobody has to kill journalists. They’re already dead.

        • Brian
          July 21, 2018 at 11:24 am

          Literally every item you’ve mentioned is a threadbare Trump talking point. Unbelievable that a site whose conceit is that it’s an intellectually hard-edged truth teller is be so mired in absolute excrement. How your world is about to crumble… and your tears will be delicious.

          • anon
            July 21, 2018 at 11:47 am

            You were unable to answer his points, so you revert to insult.

          • backwardsevolution
            July 21, 2018 at 4:12 pm

            Brian – there’s nothing threadbare about any of the questions I asked. What is threadbare is your response. Where are your answers?

            Trump not only got spied on, illegally (the FISA warrants are just now being released), but he’s been under investigation for a year and a half on trumped-up/manufactured charges, said investigation having produced not a scintilla of evidence that Trump colluded with Russia.

            And yet, on the other side of the ledger sit the crooks, ironically the very people who are trying desperately to nail Trump to the wall. These crooks are now twisting in the wind, turning themselves into pretzels in order to evade the noose. But their day is coming, and they know it.

            Eventually truth supersedes “six ways from Sunday”.

          • Brian
            July 22, 2018 at 7:21 pm

            I’m glad you mentioned the FISA docs which just came out and which literally everyone, GOP included seem to conclude not only justify their approval but prove that stooge Nunes lied, that prosecutors revealed the Steele research as a source, and that 4 separate Republican-appointed judges approved requests on 4 separate occasions.

            The uranium deal, if you venture beyond conspiratorial goo, was a deal that involved 6 different agencies and even if HRC had wanted this for any reason would not alone ha w had he power to effect it.

            Servers reveal far more information when they are monitored in place. It’s the difference between forensically looking at an unnteorked server or watching it “in action”. The “location” of servers once they’ve been analyzed, which they were, isn’t important. The inside-job narrative is indeed threadbare. Might want to switch to Putin’s “it was all true so that’s the big deal?”

            If you have some sort of solid proof that the NSC has these emails this would be a good time to reveal it. It better yet you can attempt to show even a single instance of anything resulting from information deemed secret being retrieved from a private server. Seems reasonable that if you’re upset about this yours be more upset about Trump revealing eyes-only intel from an ally to Lavrov in the Oval, or Jon publicly inviting Russia to hack – oh right that was a “joke”.

            It seems a lot of reasonable career professionals felt that the Trump campaign was serially compromised and acted on that. I’m glad that they had their eyes open.

          • backwardsevolution
            July 22, 2018 at 11:33 pm

            Brian – the Steele dossier might have been revealed to the FISA judges, but I just bet they didn’t know that Hillary Clinton paid for it.

            That Uranium One deal was only approved by Hillary AFTER she got a whopping big chunk of money deposited into the Clinton Foundation. It’s all coming out. And how about that $500,000.00 check Bill Clinton got for his speech in Russia? Seems Russia is good when the money is rolling in.

            No way the FBI would have taken the word of Crowdstrike re the servers; they would have forensically examined them themselves.

            It’s the NSA, not the NSC. Yes, William Binney has said that the NSA keep all files. They can get them, and they will.

            “It seems a lot of reasonable career professionals felt that the Trump campaign was serially compromised and acted on that.”

            More like some crooked, very unprofessional people took a chance on setting it up to look like Trump was compromised in order to win an election and, failing that, to unseat a duly-elected President.

            Sedition, subversion.

  18. Jeff Harrison
    July 20, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    “To be clear, that rapprochement will not mean and is not intended to mean that the U.S. and Russia will cease to be adversaries and will become friends.”

    I think it is important to understand why Russia and the US are adversaries. The two countries are adversaries because the US seeks unilateral advantage and global hegemony. As long as that is the US’s attitude, the US will have an adversarial relationship with much of the world.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 20, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Clear, precise, and to the root cause. I like that Jeff. If only more Americans were aware of what makes you say that. I honestly think Americans believe we are spreading good. They have bought into the ‘exceptional’ thing, but then there’s the other half of America who think we need protected. These people need to adjust their frames and see what really needs protected from is the very leaders we people elect to protect us. Talk about the Wolf protecting the Hen House…gosh on mighty gee never a better metaphor could describe our current society’s disorder. Jeff, you and I both know a lot about a lot of this, but I don’t think the message is getting through due to the heavy ‘omission of anything and everything’ that’s relevant to any honest assessment to a story. Deception has never been higher, or so it would seem. Crazies are calling Trump’s meeting with Putin another 911… we are watching a monumental historical moment unfold, in real time. Rod Sterling could not have written anything so better than what we are seeing on display through the corporate lens of our MSM… I hope when we Americans come out of this false reality we will be the better for it, and I wish the Russian people a heavy and happy life as well. Peace my fellow human beings. Joe

  19. Sam F
    July 20, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    The article errs in saying that the US president has power under the Constitution to determine foreign policy: in fact he has no policymaking power whatsoever: he has power only to serve as the main negotiator, and to implement the policies made by Congress.

    That won’t bother Congress, as they do not have power under the Constitution to conduct foreign wars except under treaty, and NATO was designed only for defense. The government may use the military only to repel invasions and suppress insurrections.

    • Sam F
      July 20, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      But that said, the article is a very sensible consideration of the Trump-Putin meeting.

  20. Theo
    July 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    A very good analysis of the summit.I fully agree.I never understood the hysteria.

  21. Sally Snyder
    July 20, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Here is an interesting look at how the anti-Russian narrative began in the United States and who really rigged the 2016 U.S. election:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-genesis-of-russian-interference.html

    Main Street America is being manipulated into believing that Russia is the enemy, giving Washington a complete pass on how business is done in America’s political capital.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 20, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Thank you Sally Snyder for that excellent link, I think you’re exactly right about this moment being the beginning of Russiagate. As a Bernie supporter who was contributing to his campaign regularly, I was constantly being asked to contribute directly to the DNC through Act Blue for convenience. (I always mailed checks directly to Bernie’s campaign.) About the time that Tulsi Gabbard left the campaign and Seth Rich was murdered, I started to get direct solicitations from Hillary which I was never totally able to unsubmit from. Hillary’s campaign must have realized that they were at risk of losing the primary or election at that moment.

      If this is the genesis of Russiagate, it will have to be more carefully examined before much effective diplomatic progress can be made. It seems to me?

  22. mike k
    July 20, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Mr. Mercouris is a wise and balanced analyst. I agree completely with his evaluation of the summit – which was in his understanding a positive first step in de-escalation of the anti-Russian mania being stoked in the US.

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