Friday, 06 July 2018

Trump-Putin Summit: Much Conjecture and Froth, But No One Knows Agenda, Goals, or Potential Outcomes

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“The times they are a-changin.'” So sang Bob Dylan, in his 1964 protest anthem of the same title. And the times they are also confusing. We have conservative anti-communists/anti-globalists cheering for KGB careerist Vladimir Putin, while longtime pro-communists/pro-globalists who hugged Fidel Castro and who for decades supported every Marxist cause are now shrieking daily warnings about evil Russian plots under every bed. It does get confusing.

The ruling class’s foreign policy brain trust (as exemplified by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Brookings Institution, etc.) and the chattering class’s leading platforms (the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, PBS, etc.) have been in outrage overdrive since the White House announced, on June 28, that President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin would get together for a one-on-one summit.

 

In short, we are seeing a repeat of the reactions to the surprise Trump-Kim summit in Singapore in June. “The Singapore summit was, without question, a triumph for Kim Jong Un and his North Korean regime,” the Washington Post editorialized. And, the virulently anti-Trump Post declared, “Mr. Trump has placed a large bet on a cruel and unpredictable ruler whose motives and aims are far from clear — and who has shown no sign of altering North Korea’s commitment to nuclear weapons or its deceptive negotiating tactics.”

By way of contrast, Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com praised Trump’s North Korean gambit as an unalloyed “smashing triumph” with no downside for us. According to Raimondo, “This [Trump-Kim] summit is a victory for peace, a smashing triumph for the Trump administration, and a beacon of hope for us here at Antiwar.com. The War Party, angry and grumbling at this huge setback, is in retreat: peace is breaking out on the Korean peninsula, and there isn’t a damned thing they can do about it.”

In truth, it is difficult to tell what, precisely, is the actual upshot of the Singapore summit. Nothing is set in concrete yet. Following their June 12 meeting on Sentosa Island, Singapore, President Trump and President Kim issued a statement that included these four points:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

This is not the first time North Korea has pledged to denuclearize, so it is a bit premature to celebrate the Trump-Kim agreement as a done deal that one can rely on to effect the stated objectives enshrined in it. North Korea is, of course, an incredibly brutal communist dictatorship, and Kim is as evil and cruel as they come. Only a few months ago, it may be remembered, President Trump taunted Kim as “Rocket Man,” in tweets and in a speech at the United Nations, and said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if Kim presents a danger to America. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Trump said in his first address to the General Assembly. “The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary." The same anti-Trump media choir that is condemning him now for meeting with Kim was condemning his “dangerous” and “provocative” Rocket Man barbs.

However, conservatives who are ecstatic that President Trump’s outside-the-box thinking has once again bedeviled his attackers in Congress, the foreign policy establishment, and the “progressive” media, may want to re-examine things. As The New American’s Joe Wolverton points out, regardless of whether one considers the four points of the Trump-Kim agreement to be good or bad, the real issue is “whether the president had the constitutionally granted authority to commit our country to these four points without any oversight from Congress.”

Wolverton notes Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides that the president “shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” “A careful reading of that section,” Wolverton continues, “reveals that there is no authority granted to the president to enter into binding ‘executive agreements’ with other heads of state.... Constitutionally — and that’s the only metric that matters in questions of federal authority — it is irrelevant whether the agreement is ‘historic,’ ‘epochal,’ ‘of great significance,’ or ‘establishing a lasting and robust peace.’ If the president doesn’t have the authority to make such binding agreements — and he doesn’t — then the agreement is null, void, and of no legal effect. Period.”

So, no matter how much one may want to cheer on the president and jeer at the “nattering nabobs of negativism,” it’s clear that one cannot do so and still uphold the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.

The upcoming Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki may produce similar results. In the main, the Deep State politicos and media shills have been in a continuous froth ever since the White House announced the meeting.

In a June 28 blast entitled, “Trump and Putin’s Too-Friendly Summit,” the editorial board of the New York Times declared that “when President Trump sits down with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Finland next month, it will be a meeting of kindred spirits, and that’s a problem.” “It’s clear,” said the Times, “that Mr. Trump isn’t a conventional president, but instead one intent on eroding institutions that undergird democracy and peace.”

The Times and other media members of the internationalist choir might have at least a shred of credibility on some of these points if they had raised their voices once in a while over the past century against the depredations of communist and leftist regimes, instead of lionizing Marxist-Leninist mass murderers. Lenin, Stalin, Tito, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara, Ahmed Ben Bella, Mikhail Gorbachev, and on and on — the Times and its Deep State media cohorts have loved them all. Even Putin. Putin? Yes, Putin.

Searching not-so-distant memories, readers may recall President George W. Bush’s famous statement following his 2001 meeting with Putin: "I looked the man in the eye,” said Bush. “I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country." Well, George Bush wasn’t alone in that rosy assessment; most of the anti-Putin firebrands of today were, like Bush, lovestruck “Putie” fans until 2014.

Here at The New American we were not lovestruck over the Kremlin’s new bare-chested macho man. “Putie” did not hold us in thrall. In article after article (see story links below), while the political, business, and media elites were swooning over the KGB man from Leningrad, we pointed out that Putin was (and is) as dangerous and devious as any previous Soviet dictator — if not more so. We noted that from the get-go Putin had loaded his government with more secret police henchmen (KGB-FSB-GRU-SVR) than at any other period in Soviet history. He has amassed more personal power and wealth than any Russian leader since Stalin. For 18 years he has ruled with an iron fist (as president, then as prime minister, then as president again). He has not hesitated to utilize the KGB-FSB’s legendary “wet affairs” skills (liquidation, assassination) against opponents and dissidents. He has continued to deploy his KGB-FSB agents in espionage and active measures against (and within) the United States. He has strengthened Russia’s economic, political, military, and science/technology ties to Communist China.

All that notwithstanding, until fairly recently the billionaire globalists of the West gladly overlooked all of these signs of tyranny and the threat they posed to American and world security. Wall Street titans and their political comrades at the Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission flocked to Putin’s plush annual galas, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the Valdai International Discussion Club. They rushed to invest in Skolkovo, Putin’s ambitious effort to build a hi-tech Russian version of Silicon Valley. Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Henry Kissinger, Goldman Sachs, the New York Times and all the great and the good were on board the “convergence” train, for merging Russia (and China) into the New World Order. Putin, then, was the preening peacock; now he is the pariah. But rest assured, Putin’s image (or that of his successor) will be transformed once again, when the globalist one-worlders decide that the time is propitious for more convergence with Russia. Russia the pariah will then once again become the peacock.

What the globalists can’t stand is that President Trump is operating as a rogue element outside of their control and outside of their carefully scripted global designs for their New World Order. In the June 28 New York Times editorial mentioned above, the editorial board laments that “Summits once tended to be carefully scripted, and presidents were attended by senior advisers and American interpreters.” Yes, for the past several generations, those disastrous summits have been scripted by lackeys of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the same anti-nationhood, anti-sovereignty internationalists that populate the editorial and reportorial ranks of the Times, as well as the commentariat of the rest of the “mainstream” media.

That being said, it does not mean that Trump’s dealings with Putin are without peril. Trump realizes that the globalists and the Fake News media are “the enemy.” He has stated this publicly and explicitly. However, the old adage that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a dangerous guiding principle, especially in the case of Putin and a KGB-controlled Russia. Putin is not our friend.

Photo sources: Donald Trump (White House); Vladimir Putin (Kremlin.ru)

Related articles:

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Is the U.S.-North Korea Singapore Summit Agreement Constitutional?

Meeting in Singapore, Trump and Kim Pledge Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, but Concrete Guarantees Must Wait

Putin Recharged: What Now for Russia — and the World?

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Putin’s East vs. Globalist West: Merging Into a New World Order

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