By Israel Shamir
Shamir at his best, full of wit and brio and as astute as ever in his political judgments.
Like an orange hurricane, President Trump made a stormy visit to the Old World. Usually American presidents’ visits to Europe present photo opportunities and vows of eternal love and friendship. Not this time. Since the Mongol invasion, not many visitors from outside shook Europe like he did. The US President has finally emerged from the cage built by his political adversaries, and begun to say things his voters wanted to hear.
However, his wonderful daring statements were quickly undermined and disowned by his ministers and advisers, creating the feeling that Trump speaks only for himself, while the US administration, his own appointees say the opposite. And then he also repudiated his own statements, saying he was misunderstood.
The American president increasingly resembles the hero of The Prince and The Pauper, the poor boy who accidentally became a king – and began to behave in a non-royal way: showing mercy and caring for people. His own staff disregards his commands. Trump says what people like to hear, but his administration sticks to the original course.
During the first part of his trip he acted a rebel in Wodehouse World with its feeble men and formidable women. Indeed the West is ruled by formidable aunts and elder sisters. Aunt Angela in Germany, Aunt Theresa in England, Aunt Brigitte in France. Only Aunt Hillary is missing to complete the puzzle and establish the rule of Aunties over their hen-pecked nephews.
(Hillary’s defeat didn’t derail the Aunties’ program of emasculation: #MeToo campaign goes on unabated. Men are afraid to flirt with girls. Henry (The Superman) Cavill admitted as much in an interview, saying that flirting with somebody would be like “casting myself into the fires of hell”, as a person in the public eye. “I think a woman should be wooed and chased”, he said, but it could lead to jail. He was immediately attacked for this heresy: “If Henry Cavill doesn’t want to be called a rapist then all he has to do is… not rape anyone”, implausibly they claimed. And he apologised profusely.)
Trump’s trip had been accompanied by mass protest demos. Normally I am all in favour of a good anti-American demo, but in this case, the protesters were extreme feminists and supporters of unlimited immigration. That’s people who like the Aunties, and hate Uncles. They do not mind conflict with Russia and even consider Trump as a “Russian agent”. They dislike that he does not obey Aunties.
In the second part of the tour, Trump had met with the formidable Mr Putin, a real man. Now that we have learned from our reliable sources what had happened in the palatial halls of Helsinki (excepting face-to-face private talk with Putin) we can describe Trump’s Pilgrim’s Progress and share our knowledge and conclusions with you.
In short, President Trump made the right sounds and called for right solutions, but he has been unable to insist on any. If he were a free man of his own mind, this trip would transform the world. The way things are, it will remain a sign of his honourable intentions, for everything he said has been overturned and denied by his aides.
In Brussels, Trump attacked Frau Merkel. How does she dare to buy Russian gas, if Germany faces a Russian threat? Why does it accept immigrants and refugees who undermine the European way of life? Saying that, he sided with “the populists”, the Italians, Hungarians and Austrians, whose top politicians are male and friendly to Trump and Putin.
The Brussels meeting almost came to an undoing of NATO. Trump hinted that the US would leave NATO unless they pay. They have to pay more, much more, if they want to have American protection.
Could he mean it? NATO is an instrument of American control over Europe, and Washington keeps dozens of bases in Europe, in particular – in Germany. Germany has remained under American occupation since 1945. This would seem good for America, but the occupied and controlled Western European states are tied to the Clinton camp, to Democrats and liberals. They do not accept Trump as their rightful sovereign. And Europe does not pay for its occupation, so it is costly. Of course, it is a great honour to occupy and control the great powers of the past, England, France, the Netherlands, Spain. But it costs a lot of money for America. Likewise, in 1990 Russia discovered that it is expensive to control surly East Germany, independent Poland, sunny Georgia, tricky Armenia, populous Uzbekistan and the rainy Baltic States.
There is no certainty that the countries of Europe will agree to pay and submit to Trump’s demands. In Germany, there are growing voices demanding the Yankees be sent home, that is, to ask the American soldiers to leave Germany. It would be good if NATO were to disintegrate and disappear, like the Warsaw Treaty Organization disappeared. Trump has repeatedly said that he wants to return the American soldiers home. Perhaps we shall witness Pax Americana without American troops in Europe, like England fictitiously claimed to belong to the Roman Empire, though Roman legions had left, and Rome lost all interest in foggy Albion.
In England, Trump confronted Mrs May. She reminded him of his school mistress, and Donald does not like school mistresses. The soft Brexit, which she intends to conclude, is a complete bummer, not a Brexit, he said. Under the proposed treaty, all prerogatives remain in Brussels. So, there can be no trade agreement between the United States and Britain. America will negotiate directly with Brussels. And in general, it would be better if May transferred Downing Street 10 to her former Foreign Secretary, a hard-line Brexit supporter, the red-headed Bojo (as the Brits call Boris Johnson, who had just resigned, resenting the proposed plan for soft Brexit).
The European Union is an American design, too. Why, then, does the US President want to undermine it by removing the UK, his own Trojan Horse? Apparently, it means that the globalist forces have entered a state of direct confrontation with America.
This first part of Trump’s tour had been followed by the Kremlin with satisfaction. The Kremlin also believes that NATO has become obsolete, and that Brexit is the right step. Russia instinctively disapproves of mass migration, just like Trump.
Trump’s meeting with President Putin had been postponed for a year; both men were eager to meet. Trump wanted to meet another strong man, a powerful chieftain who can assist him in building a new world, instead of the one created under Obama, by media and Supreme Court Judges. President Putin wanted to solve bilateral issues and to ease American pressure upon Russia.
Their problems were very different. The main problems of Trump were Mme Clinton and Barack Obama, and the whole army of their obstinate followers who didn’t recognise Trump’s legitimacy. Putin couldn’t do much for him, with all his sympathy.
Putin’s problem is the hybrid warfare carried out by the United States against Russia. Despite accusations you hear in your media (alleged Russian ads in the Facebook and Twitter influencing voters), American pressure on Russia is very real and very painful. American officials try to wreck every international deal Russia attempts to clinch. It is not only, or even mainly about weapons. If a country A wants to sell Russians, say, bananas, the US ambassador will come to A’s king, or his minister, and will expressly forbid him to sell bananas to godless Russians. Otherwise, do not expect the US aid, or do not count on US favours in your disputes with your neighbours, or the US won’t buy your production, or US banks will take another long and jaundiced view at your financial transactions. You witnessed the scene, when the crazed Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, threatened sovereign nations with severe punishment for voting against the US desires, so you have an idea of American delicacy and caution while pushing their will through.
Russians are in a very uncomfortable seat. All their neighbours are subject to American pressure to annoy Russia, be it Georgia (once they even attacked Russia militarily being led by American and Israeli advisers) or the Ukraine (Americans arranged a coup d’état and installed extremely hostile to Russia government in Kiev). American military bases surround Russia and NATO troops drew closer and closer to its centres. American military budget of 600 billion dollars dwarfs the Russian one, while the armaments’ race can undermine Russian finances. If Russia were a woman, she would scream: stop it!
Perhaps our colleague Mr Andrei Martyanov is right and the US can’t destroy Russia militarily; perhaps Immanuel Wallerstein is correct and American power is in decline; but meanwhile the US is perfectly able to make life hard and difficult for any state. It made life unbearably hard for North Korea, extremely hard for Iran. Russia is not doing half as good as she could do without ceaseless American meddling.
President Putin would like Trump to relent. There is no reason for this incessant picking on Russia; it is not Communist anymore; it is much smaller and less populous than the former USSR; it wants to live in peace as a member of the family of nations, not as a great alternative. The anti-Russian offensive began in earnest in the days of previous US presidents, namely Obama and Clinton; so it would make sense for Trump to stop it.
Problem is, President Trump is also actively engaged in war against Russia. Just a few days ago he pressured the German Chancellor to give up on the North Stream-2, to stop buying Russian gas. His advisers demanded that Turkey desist from buying a Russian antimissile system. The US Air Force bombed Russian troops in Syria.
Still Putin made a good try. He proposed to hold a referendum in the Donbas area of Eastern Ukraine which is presently independent though lacking international recognition. The people of Donbas had their own referendum in 2014, and voted for independence; Kiev regime and its Western sponsors denied its validity as it was done under Russian army’s protection, they claimed. Now Putin proposed a re-run under international auspices.
Trump ostensibly agreed, he said it was a good idea, and he asked for the opinion of John Bolton, his national security advisor; Bolton confirmed it was a good idea. This was in Helsinki; however, since then the idea had been rejected by the Americans, as the Kiev regime balked at it. The regime knows well that the people of Eastern Ukraine aren’t likely to opt for their tender mercies, and Trump administration won’t push Kiev to agree to secession, or to abide by the Minsk agreements and let them re-join federal Ukraine as an autonomous unit. So this haemorrhaging wound at the western border of Russia will bleed on.
As for Syria, Putin told Trump that he agreed upon the arrangements with Mr Netanyahu to keep Iranians and their militias at some 80 km away from the disengagement (1974) lines at the Golan Heights. (Iranians are now going through a difficult stretch and they accepted this solution without a murmur.) This was acceptable to Trump, and both presidents stressed that they value Israeli security highly.
(They have differing reasons for it. Putin wants Syria to remain in peace under his protégé and ally President Bashar Assad, and for this, he needs some security arrangements with pugnacious Israel. Putin is aware of Jewish state’s ability to pull strings and he doesn’t want to antagonise it. Putin also wants Trump to be happy, and Israel is a point of huge importance for the US President, much more than for Putin.
Trump sacrifices at the altar of Israel to propitiate the Jews he is fighting in the US. Trump fights everything American Jews stand for, against all they achieved recently. He wants to have them back in the cash flow cubicle, the ‘short guys that wear yarmulkes every day’, counting his notes. They want much, much more: they wish to dominate and rule America their own way. Trump is ready to give all he can to Israel, so the American Jews will be less eager to fight him.
This ploy had been tried by the German National-Socialists in 1930s, who gave the Zionist-Socialists the most profitable Ha’avara deal to offset and overcome hostility of American Jews. It failed then, it is likely to fail again, but not before the Zionists will get all they dream of.)
For North Korea, Putin lauded Trump’s move and said he will keep playing a supportive role to American efforts.
For the bogus “Russian interference in the US elections”, Putin proposed to establish a bilateral expert group for cyber security. Let experts deal with experts, and sort out the claims, he said. Trump agreed with the idea, though his advisers were quick to repudiate it upon their return to Washington.
Putin also proposed to allow cross-examinations on the reciprocity basis: the US investigators will travel to Russia and interrogate Russian officials indicted by Mueller’s team; while Russian investigators will travel to the US and interrogate Ambassador McFaul for his participation in Browder affair. Trump had been impressed by the generous offer; but as he returned to Washington, McFaul (falsely) claimed Trump intends to send him to the Gulag, and Trump’s advisers promptly repudiated the proposal.
Putin did not intend to arrest and detain McFaul, just to question him; likewise, he wouldn’t permit Mueller investigators to carry Russian intelligence officers to a Guantanamo of their choice, just to ask them questions. The Browder Affair grows bigger as time goes: though the rascal was not the biggest of Russian assets’ looters, he was the most outspoken and keen on hanging on the stolen goods. The US advisers from top-league universities implanted in the Yeltsin administration in 1990s had stolen more; they also facilitated creation of the mighty oligarchs of that time. However, Browder had more tenacity and he judiciously invested a lion share of his ill-gotten profits in bribes aiming to suborn the US administration and turn it onto relentless pursuit of Russia. Ambassador McFaul fronted for him and covered his misdeeds; while McFaul tried to interfere in Russian electoral process following the precedent established in 1996.
Thus at Helsinki, a pattern had been established, I was told by a witness. Putin would make a proposal, Trump would tentatively agree and promptly deny and repudiate on return to Washington.
From the beginning to the end, the US media was highly hostile to Trump and to his mission in Europe. They eagerly followed anti-Trump demos and exaggerated his every blunder. Google obediently trailed at the top Twitter messages of the ex-CIA boss calling Trump ‘a traitor’. All prominent Western newspapers spoke of Trump’s ‘treason’.
Perhaps they would be able to convince some Republicans to follow their trend, but the defeat of Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina primaries following Trump’s angry Twitter had brought them to their senses. A Republican leader stated the case well: “Obviously there are going to be those who are going to criticise him but they’re going to criticise him for anything that he says. This committee stands strong, stands behind him and wants to support him. We’re interested not only in the 2018 elections, we’re interested in the 2020 elections as well.”
The result of violent Trump-is-a-traitor campaign was surprising: 80% of Trump voters approved of his Helsinki shtick, notwithstanding the vehement accusations. American media had lost its silver touch. President may continue to build his power structure, and perhaps one day his word will be worth something.
Bottom line: Trump dared, and survived.