By THE SAKER
An abridged version of an article in the Unz Review
The talk of the week is the upcoming meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin on the sidelines of the G20 conference this Friday.
The two most powerful men in the world are about to meet face to face.
What can we expect to be the outcome of this important meeting?
“The sad and frightening reality is that we are now closer to war than during the Cuban Missile Crisis…. When a nuclear superpower is acting like an out-of-control rogue state, this is very, very, scary.” — The Saker
It is undeniable that the fact that these two men, Trump and Putin, will finally meet is an event of immense significance and importance for the future not only of US-Russian relations, but even for the future of mankind.
The sad and frightening reality is that we are now closer to war than during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not only are Russian and US servicemen now deployed in the same war zone (the Americans totally illegally), but unlike what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis we have a US President who terminally lacks the willpower to deal with the crazies on the US side. I am talking about the Neocons, of course.
In fact, under Kennedy there were no real Neocons to tackle to begin with. Now they are running the White House while Trump serves them coffee or watches TV in another room (I am joking of course, but just barely). In this context, to meet on the “sidelines” of a G20 conference is bordering on the criminally irresponsible. What the world would need is for Trump and Putin to meet in a “Camp David” like format for at least 3-5 days with all their key advisors and officials. Even if we assume 100% good will on both sides, meeting on the “sidelines” of an already big conference just won’t make it possible to get anything done. In the very best of cases Lavrov and Tillerson could have done most of the hard work away from the public eye, but the truth is that the Russians say that so far the two sides have not even agreed upon an agenda.
Second, it is absolutely clear that the US Ziomedia and Congress will declare any, any, positive outcome from the meeting as “Trump caved in to Putin” and try to get a pound of political flesh out of Trump for it. So for Trump any external success will mean an internal disaster. And we already know that the man does not have what it takes to deal with such attacks. Frankly, his only “tactic”, so to speak, to deal with the Neocons has been to try to appease them. So short of Trump asking for political asylum in Russia and joining Snowden somewhere in Russia, I don’t see him ever taking any independent action.
Third, if we look at the people around Trump it is pretty clear that the only intelligent and rational person in the White House is Rex Tillerson. The rest of them are lunatics, maniacs and imbeciles – the current US what shall I call it—“actions” (can’t call it a “policy”) towards Syria clearly prove that the Executive Branch is completely out of control. We now can clearly see that Mattis and McMaster are not these military geniuses presented to us by the Ziomedia but that, in fact, they are both phenomenally incompetent and that their views of the conflicts in Syria and even Afghanistan can only be characterized as totally lacking anything remotely resembling any kind of vision. Yet these two “geniuses” seem to be in charge.
For all his intelligence, Tillerson can’t even rein in this Nikki idiot at the United Nations. We should stop kidding ourselves and stop pretending like there is anybody to talk to for the Russians. At best, they are dealing with a Kindergarten. At worst, they are dealing with an evil Kindergarten. But either way, there is nobody to talk to on the US side, much less so somebody to begin solving the many issues that need solving.
I will admit that I did have high hopes for Trump and his apparent willingness to sit down and have an adult conversation with the Russians. I was especially inspired by Trump’s repeated rejection of the Ziomedia’s narrative about Russia and by what appeared to me as his “no nonsense” approach towards getting things done. I wrote many articles for this blog saying that having hopes (not expectations!) for Trump was the right thing to do. And, frankly, I think that at the time it was. Last Fall I even wrote an entire chapter on this topic in the book “If I were King: Advice for President Trump“.
The big difference is that before his election we could only judge Trump by his words. Now, however, we can judge him by his words and his actions and the latter show us a consistent pattern of supine subservience to the Neocons and their demands, from the betrayal of his friend and key advisor Flynn, to the recent threats to bomb Syria for, allegedly, “preparing” to use chemical munitions against civilians.
This might be his, shall we call it, “Las Vegas culture” – but Trump is all about form over substance and appearance over facts. Just look at his frankly pathetic threats (with no less than 3 aircraft carrier strike groups!) against the DPRK or his half-assed missile strike on the Syrian airbase: it’s all a big show, nothing more. No wonder the man likes “tweeting” – he seems to think in 140 character long “thought clusters”…
if the US, and the West generally, had a halfway decent media and a Legislative Branch worthy of its name. In theory, these could raise hell and demand that the President either resign or begin doing his job. But, of course, they don’t and they won’t. They hate Trump, of course, but they also own him. He can make fun of them in “tweets” in his free time, but in terms of his policies he does exactly what they want. And the very last thing they want is any kind of “detente” with Russia. At most, they will impeach Trump just to humiliate him, but that’s about it. They don’t even need to play their “Pence” card – Trump is what is colloquially known in US ghettos as their “punk-ass bitch”.
Ever since the ill-fated “GWOT” more or less petered out, Russia has become the indispensable bogeyman to terrify the public and justify multi-billion dollar corruption schemes. Not only that, but a “resurgent Russia” is the cornerstone justification of the AngloZionist paranoia about a need to spend more on the war state, the police state and, of course, on corporate greed. The powers that be are even re-heating old, Cold War era, scaring techniques:
The Defense Intelligence Agency has recently released a “Russian Military Power 2017” report. Since it is pretty well written, I actually recommend that you download and read it: it is a mix of pretty good information about the Russian Armed Forces and the garden variety nonsense about Russian hackers and their cyber-threat to US and its allies. Just set aside the clearly politically-induced nonsense and you are left with a rather well made summary of what the Russian Armed Forces are up to these days.
I have to thank the DIA for this report: it made me feel young again, like I was in the 1980s when all the students of warfare and of the Soviet military were reading these annual “Soviet Military Power” reports with great interest. But other than making some of us feel young, the real purpose of this document is clear and it is the very same one behind the Cold War era “Soviet Military Power” series: to justify an increase in “defense” (i.e. “aggression”) spending by showing how scary these evil Commies/Russkies were/are.
This would all be rather funny, and nostalgic in a way, if it did not show the total lack of imagination of the folks at the Pentagon. Far from coming up with anything novel or interesting, they are bringing back into service stuff which for years had been collecting dust in the memories of now mostly retired Cold Warriors. It is rather pathetic, really.
Over the past 30 years or so, Russia went from being the Soviet Union to being a Somalia-like “democratic hell” during the 1990s, to becoming a completely new entity – a “New Russia” which is dramatically different from the Soviet Union of the 1980s. In contrast, the US got completely stuck in its old patterns, except for this time they are “the same, but even worse”. If the US did not have nukes that would almost be okay (after all, the world can let “Uncle Sam” slowly lose his sclerotic brain, who cares?) but when a nuclear superpower is acting like an out-of-control rogue state, this is very, very, scary.
So back to our G20 meeting again. The first thing which needs to be said is that Trump is weak, extremely weak: he goes in with the Ziomedia and Congress hating him and with a basically treacherous White House team clearly controlled by Pence, Kushner and the rest of the Neocon crazies.
THE NEOCONS’ “PUNK-ASS BITCH”
“. . . clearly controlled by Pence, Kushner and the rest of the Neocon crazies.”
— § —
I think I can guess what the Americans want: a partition of Syria. I don’t think this will work.
For one thing, the Americans are yet again overlooking the fact that the main actor in Syria is not Russia but Iran. And Iran has no reason whatsoever to agree to any such partition.
Neither do the Russians, of course. The only ones truly interested in a partition of Syria are, who else, the Israelis. And since the Israelis are now back in charge of the White House, they are the only ones pushing for the partition of Syria.
But that is something Turkey and Iran cannot accept as this would not only create a “Wahabistan” in eastern Syria, but also some kind of Kurdistan in the north – hardly a recipe for peace.
And, finally, let’s not forget the Syrians themselves. They perfectly understand that any partition of their homeland would leave them squeezed between Israel in the southwest and some kind of crazy Daesh pretend-caliphate in the northeast – why would they ever accept such a rotten and, not to mention, unsustainable deal?
For the Americans, of course, it’s the other way around: since they could not get the black flag of Daesh to fly over Damascus they see the partition of Syria as the only acceptable outcome. They will therefore oppose any peace process, especially one crafted by Russia, Iran and Turkey, with every ugly trick in their bag.
So, will the upcoming meeting yield nothing, nothing at all?
It will yield the fact that the two leaders spoke to each other, face to face. That is not unimportant. The Russians will probably try to get Trump into agreeing to some kind of new UN Resolution on Syria, but since we all know that the US disregards UN resolutions anyway, it won’t be much of a victory.
I hope I am wrong, but I will be watching the press conference of Trump and Putin on Friday with a tiny leftover spark of hope that maybe, just maybe, Trump has something good left inside him.
But I won’t be holding my breath.