Trump is doing more to divide the Western Alliance than the Kremlin

Loyalty is a trait Trump demands from everyone whether they are in his family, his criminal enterprise, American citizens, or leaders of America’s allies and trading partners. Of course, in Trump’s tiny narcissistic mind, loyalty entails abject obedience and perpetual praise for the aspiring dictator no matter the issue. Anyone falling short of what Trump considers loyalty soon finds themself on the receiving end of his typically vindictive nature and that includes leaders of sovereign nations Americans have called allies and partners for decades, if not generations.

As one might expect, NATO members are rightfully concerned that Trump’s upcoming visit will be a repeat of the G7 debacle just a month ago. Like that economic “summit,” Trump will depart from meeting with America’s allies and rush into the waiting arms of a tyrannical dictator – his favorite ruler Vladimir Putin. Putin would love nothing more than to learn directly from Trump that he succeeded  in alienating NATO members and weakening the “Western Alliance.” It is abominable that instead of displaying any loyalty to America’s historical allies, Trump has done little else but provoke our friends in an effort to please a hostile foreign leader.

Trump is desperate to please and display loyalty to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for what appears to be purely pecuniary reasons. Subsequently, since even before his poorly attended inauguration, dirty Don has “pleased” Putin beyond the dirty Ruskie’s wildest dream. Putin’s long sought-after dream is fracturing the Western Alliance made up of the European Union and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); it is the only way Putin can assert Russian authority over Europe to match the former Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. Trump has given every indication that one of his primary foreign policy goals includes helping Putin realize his dream with divisive attacks and comments targeting America’s allies; all under the guise of making America great by being disloyal to its friends, and all because they fail to obey Trump’s outrageous demands or praise him like a messiah.

Trump has attacked NATO members for not spending enough on their militaries, started a trade war with the bloc by levying punitive tariffs, abandoned international deals on climate change and Iran’s nuclear program, and refused to sign the typically-uncontroversial G-7 statement last month. He’s also publicly condemned a sovereign nation’s leader and close ally, Angela Merkel, because she refuses to enact Trump-like barbaric immigration policies. In addition, he has  reportedly pushed French President Emmanuel Macron to do Putin’s bidding and weaken “the Alliance” by asking the French leader, “Why don’t you leave the European Union?”

It is likely that because Russia handed out financial incentives to the right-wing malcontent behind the so-called “Brexit” movement, Trump decided to contribute to fracturing the Western Alliance by levying punitive tariffs against America’s allies and trading partners; anything to aid Putin break apart the only thing preventing him from annexing all of Europe. Remember, Putin only invaded and confiscated Crimea from Ukraine because it is not a NATO member-nation.

It is noteworthy that abandoning any one of the international deals with America’s democratic allies had nothing to do with how much NATO member nations spend on their own military. But those acts are contributing to Putin’s longstanding goal of ripping apart the so-called “Western Alliance.” It is why a renowned political analyst and Russian exile working at the Hudson Institute,  Andrei Piontkovsky said:

Putting these events together creates a moment of truth. All NATO countries are worried about it [Trump’s belligerence toward the EU]. For the Eastern members, this is a matter of life and death. Trump is doing more to divide the West and weaken NATO than the Kremlin itself. Trump is the ideal U.S. president for Putin.”

Mr. Piontkovsky’s statement could not possibly be more accurate and it goes beyond Trump’s claim that he is only going after NATO members because “they owe us money.” That excuse may work on Trump’s dirt-dumb acolytes, but any half-wit understands NATO members do not owe, or have to pay, America as a condition of NATO membership.  It is  likely that those same Trump supporters are unaware that there is only one instance of NATO members invoking Article 5 to defend a member who was attacked. The “common defense” clause commits all members to protect each other and generally sets a spirit of solidarity within the Alliance, not the price of membership.

After a criminal gang hijacked passenger aircraft and flew them into American buildings, the Alliance’s members committed, and followed through, to protect America by joining its never-ending war in Afghanistan. It is noteworthy that those NATO countries never called on America to pay for  receiving “protection;” it is what real loyalty and commitment looks like and is something Trump will never acknowledge or understand.

It is bad enough that Trump has no loyalty to his own country and that he has made ending whatever “spirit of solidarity” as Americans this country may have once enjoyed. But that is the price Americans have to pay for electing an aspiring dictator whose idea of loyalty is abject obedience. No matter how badly Trump rips America apart, it does not represent an existential threat to this nation’s most valuable allies and trading partners. His hostility and punitive actions against the European Union and NATO countries, however, if successful, will give Vladimir Putin exactly what he expected when he put his puppet in the White House – a willing servant devoted to dismantling the only thing preventing Russian expansion in Europe.

 

Putin Warns Americans To Stop Disrespecting Trump

In case there were any doubts about Trump’s close relationship with Russia’s president, Putin’s recent directive to Americans to stop disrespecting Trump should clear up any misconceptions. It is not entirely clear if there is a concerted effort among Trump’s supporters and the Russians to stop criticism of the moron in the White House, but by joining the chorus of evangelicals and conservative pundits condemning criticism of Trump, it appears to be the case. It also is a sign that this administration is serious about crushing dissent. That a hostile foreign leader is joining Trump’s tyrannical effort should put to rest any doubt that Putin is still supporting the man he put in the White House.

As reported by the Russian news agency Tass, Trump’s love interest Vladimir Putin told American citizens to “stop disrespectingPresident Donald Trump. Then the dirty Rusky insulted Americans by claiming the only reason the people are exercising their constitutional right of free speech and criticizing Trump is because of the United States has a “poor political system.” Putin, like Trump, doesn’t like democracy or America’s constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

Putin was speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, and took some time to deny that Russia interfered in last year’s presidential elections. While he was at it, Putin defended his “political ally” from what he claimed was “unfair criticism.” Putin lied and said Trump “won honestly” and that Trump and his devotees are “behaving legitimately” in response to the current climate in America.

Putin said:

Inside the country, disrespect is shown for him. This is a regrettable negative component of the U.S. political system. One can’t show disrespect, even not for him personally but for those people who voted for him.”

Maybe in Putin’s dictatorial Russia no-one is allowed to criticize the ruler, or his supporters, but America is not yet under a dictatorship; although Trump is making a serious effort to make it one.

Putin also spent time defending Trump’s “controversial approach” to running the country. According to Putin, Trump’s “unpredictable decisions” are the only “reasonable response” to “great domestic resistance,” especially from the media. Putin argues that “resistance” is preventing Trump from doing what he wants without resistance. In America, and around the world, that “resistance” is part and parcel of what it means to live in a free democratic society and the primary reason Putin is calling for Americans to shut up and conform. He, like Trump, cannot countenance a free democratic society and they damn sure can’t comport a free press.

Putin’s assertions are precisely the same arguments Trump proffers in his never-ending attacks on the press. Trump claims the media is busy promoting an “overtly negative portrayal of his administration” instead of praising his every dictatorial move. No, the media reports the truth about his “overtly negative administration” and that is exactly why Trump and Putin claim America is governed under a “poor political system.” Remember, Trump made no secret he is not a fan or devotee of the United States Constitution he claimed is bad for Americans because it prohibits him from ruling like Putin; at least for the time being.

According to Putin, there is nothing negative about the way Trump is attempting to rule and not only does he not deserve criticism, he is too smart to need any advice; except from Putin of course. Putin said:

The president of the United States does not need any advice because one has to possess certain talent and go through this trial to be elected, even without having the experience of such big administrative work.”

No doubt Putin supports Trump’s effort to dismantle America’s government and sever long-standing relationships around the world; that was, after all, the motive behind installing Trump in the White House. It was no coincidence that Putin “authorized” Russia’s official news agency to report the pro-Trump “segment” of his speech; he was sending Americans a message to end any dissent and send an “I got your back” message to his BFF Trump..

The implications of Putin’s remark is that a free democratic society is bad, and that constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of expression, speech and the press represent a “poor political system.” It is precisely what Trump has been preaching and implies that despite what Putin or Trump claim, transforming America into a Russian-like dictatorship was part and parcel of Putin’s interference in the last election.

There is no doubt Putin’s remarks will be hailed by Trump and his dirty supporters. Trump’s latest love interest, Alabama bigot Roy Moore is so enamored with Putin that he recently told the Guardian that “Maybe Putin is right. Maybe he is more akin to me than I thought.”  

 Trump’s friend, ally and advisor Rudy Giuliani gushes about Putin and it explains why he loves Trump. Giuliani said:

 “Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it half a day.”

 As Jeremy W. Peters opined a couple of months ago, the reason conservatives love and respect Putin as much as they do Trump is because, “ he personifies the qualities and attitudes that conservatives have desired in a president: respect for traditional Christian values, a swelling nationalist pride, and an aggressive posture toward foreign adversaries.”

 Now one of America’s foreign adversaries is issuing directives to Americans to stop disrespecting a man fully intent on ruling America like Putin rules Russia; especially after Putin went to great lengths to install Trump in the White House. Americans should be acutely offended that after installing a Russian sympathizer in the White House, Putin is now telling Americans to sit down and shut up. If they aren’t infuriated it is either because they are a Trump acolyte or a Russian sympathizer like a growing number of conservatives.

Image: Slate

Trump Thanked Putin For Cutting America’s Diplomatic Corps

While many Americans are rightfully concerned that Trump is playing to a big-time wrestling script with thermonuclear war as possible result, the reality show character’s close relationship with Vladimir Putin is not commanding much news coverage. However, yesterday while some Americans were considering building bomb shelters in their backyards, Trump showed that he still embraces Russia and continues rejecting America and more importantly, its diplomats.

No doubt Trump has yearned for a reason to thank Putin for his valuable (campaign) support over the last year-and-a-half, but that would just further implicate his complicity in Russia’s attack on democracy. Still, Trump found a way to express his gratitude to Putin and “stab American diplomats in the back” in the process; because diplomats prevent wars.

When Trump was asked what his thoughts were on Putin expelling about 775 diplomats from Russia as retaliation for new congressionally-mandated sanctions, he seized the occasion to express how “very thankful” he was that Putin expelled hundreds of American diplomats from Russia. He even explained why he was grateful.

Trump said:

I want to thank him [Putin] because we’re trying to cut down our [State Department] payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There’s no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.”

No sane person thinks Trump was being facetious in offering his gratitude to Putin; no small number of diplomats and foreign policy experts have bemoaned loudly that Trump’s refusal to even partially staff the State Department is a gargantuan disaster waiting to happen. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is rabid about cutting down on diplomats, and the idea that Trump wants a non-functioning State Department has nothing to do with “saving a lot of money.” He is more than willing to spend a “lot more money” on bombs and bullets in one fiscal year than it costs to run the State Department for a decade.  Trump and his key alt-right advisors ardently believe that the best way to conduct foreign policy with any country is not diplomacy; they love threats, belligerence, bullying and war. It is the worldview Trump has demonstrated over the past few days in the grandest fashion imaginable.

There have been several reports that the State Department is woefully understaffed with no plans, or intent whatsoever, to fill those positions. And they are crucial positions around the world that do not include janitorial or kitchen help jobs. This danger is not all down to Trump, but it is likely he directed Secretary of State Tillerson not to bother himself with putting up nominees for “low priority” positions such as assistant secretary for diplomatic security. Some Americans may recall that Republicans consider diplomatic security at the bottom of their low-priority concerns to explain why the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi lacked adequate security and protection.

As many former diplomats and foreign policy experts have noted, there is much “more than an ineffectual State Department here, there is real danger.” The real danger is when, not if, something in the world goes terribly wrong like when a poor manager and inexperienced malcontent issues biblically-inspired threats of “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Every administration faces crises throughout their tenure, and everything falling on Trump stems from the rest of the world’s perception that he is a sap and those foreign policy crises are only going to increase in number and frequency. As noted in the Washington Post, America’s foes feel emboldened with an incompetent in the White House.

They also state the peril of Trump endangering national security by not filling important diplomatic positions; or worse, thanking a hostile foreigner for “cutting down our [diplomatic] payroll and letting a lot of people go.”

It is frightening to imagine what happens when “a crisis erupts in an area of the world that Tillerson hasn’t bothered to staff,” or another attack on an embassy occurs when Tillerson has not bothered to put up a nominee for assistant secretary for diplomatic security? “Tillerson and the president Trump will be in deep trouble.

Remember too that Trump claimed filling his administration with billionaires with exemplary business backgrounds would ensure that his government will have better management and only the very best people will be employed. “Instead they cannot perform the most basic management task of an administration — picking personnel.”

A career foreign service officer who served as an ambassador to Poland in the Clinton Administration and on the National Security Council under Bush really put Trump’s idiocy and third-rate management skills under a spotlight with two simple rhetorical questions. Dan Fried asked:

Under what theory of management is there not an assistant secretary for Europe or Asia?”  And, “How do you make an administration effective when your institutions are weak?

Trump believes his administration is effective because he controls one powerful institution; the United States military and its robust nuclear arsenal. It is likely why he said the hundreds of diplomats “Putin let go to cut America’s State Department payroll” are not going back. It is also highly likely that since Secretary of State Tillerson is BFFs with Putin, Trump believes diplomats are unnecessary; Putin will help Tillerson run the State Department and probably help him cut the diplomatic payroll even more.

It is particularly prescient right now that Trump is demonstrating what he thinks of diplomats or seeking a diplomatic solution to end his nuclear pissing match with the North Korea’s version of Donald J. Trump. One thing is crystal clear after Trump’s showy display of gratitude for some Rusky budget cutting assistance; Trump is too enamored and thankful to ever get into a pissing match with Vladimir Putin.

Threat of Treason Charges Already Looming Over Trump Presidency

 

 

One of the most laughable claims throughout the past year-and-a-half’s brutal presidential campaign was dirty Donald Trump’s claim that his intent in running was to “make America great again.” It was an absurd campaign slogan because not only was America already “great” because a fascist like Trump was never allowed to get close to the halls of power, but because Donald Trump exists to promote his own greatness; the bankruptcy king has never had any interest in American greatness. Donald Trump has been accused, and rightly so, of being a bully, a corrupt business operator, a swindler, a brutish thug, a pathological liar, and a devotee of both Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler.

Now, a former assistant Secretary of State has strongly intimated that Donald Trump is on a direct path to be charged with treason, making him an official honest-to-dog traitor to America.

In an opinion column for the Boston Globe, former assistant Secretary of State and international human rights expert John Shattuck posited that “a specter of treason hovers over Donald Trump.” According to Mr. Shattuck, if Trump does not “welcome a thorough investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election,” it raises serious questions that make him defenseless against “charges of treason.” Mr. Shattuck wrote,

A specter of treason hovers over Donald Trump. He has brought it on himself by dismissing a bipartisan call for an investigation of Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee as a ‘ridiculous’ political attack on the legitimacy of his election as president.”

What Trump says is ridiculous is what seventeen separate American intelligence agencies unanimously concluded was Russia waging cyber warfare against the United States to impact the presidential election. In fact, the lead agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), concluded that Vladimir Putin intended to influence the election in favor of his hand-puppet Trump. Like many political commenters have, Shattuck reminded readers that after the election, the current director of the National Security Agency and commander of the United States Cyber Command, Admiral Michael Rogers stated,

This [Russian espionage] was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”

Late last week, an American senior intelligence official revealed that there is substantial evidence that Trump’s co-conspirator Vladimir Putin personally authorized and directed the attack on America; something Trump blows off as “ridiculous.” Shattuck asks why Trump is publicly rejecting the seventeen intelligence agency assessments and particularly; why he is criticizing “the bipartisan proposal for a congressional investigation?” An honest and patriotic American would exhibit the strongest possible interest in leading a concerted national effort against a hostile foreign power’s attack on the core of American democracy, but despicable Don is no more patriotic to America than he is honest.

The Globe article gave four reasons Trump is trying desperately to portray the intelligence community as incompetent, politically-motivated, corrupt and untrustworthy, but only one stands out as the most credible in a conspiracy to commit and then cover up treason. Shattuck writes that Trump “may be seeking to cover up evidence of involvement or prior knowledge by members of his campaign team or himself in the Russian cyberattack.”

One would argue that Trump IS seeking to keep his and his team’s collusion with the Russians out of the public eye; an act that makes him guilty of treason and misprision of treason. As a reminder, any American guilty of “misprision of treasonaccording to 18 U.S. Code § 2382 is a person “having knowledge of the commission of any treason [who] conceals and does not disclose.” Treason, according to the US Code and the United States Constitution is committed by a person “owing allegiance to the United States who . . . adheres to their enemies, giving them aid or comfort.”

It doesn’t take a very bright mind to conclude that by denigrating or trying to prevent an investigation of the Russian attack on America, dastardly Donnie is giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States. It is a crime that is greatly enhanced if Trump’s bullying of the intelligence community and criticism of a congressional investigation are ploys to cover up his own, or his staff’s involvement in or prior knowledge of the attack.

There is more than sufficient evidence that Trump and his inner circle have had close ties to Putin and the Kremlin prior to, during, and after the Russian attack on America. Whether it was Trump and Putin operative Paul Manafort, National Security Advisor designate Michael Flynn palling around with Putin and appearing as a commentator for Russian state television, or Trump’s son boasting that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets, we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia;” there is a definite close connection between Putin and “the Trump.”

In fact, after the election, the Russians knew Americans would stay rolled over even after being attacked and boasted that yes; there were communications between the Kremlin and the Trump. Two days after the election the Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabokov, was quoted by the New York Times and Washington Post saying, “there were contacts” between Moscow and the Trump campaign during the election campaign, and that members of the campaign staff “were staying in touch with Russian representatives” after the election.

Of course one doesn’t need a Senate Select Committee to connect the Trump-Russia dots, or to comprehend that in nominating a close friend of Putin and director of a Russian oil company as secretary of state, dirty Donald is giving aid and comfort to the enemy; the Constitution’s definition of treason.

There is little doubt, at least in this author’s mind, that Donald Trump is going to move the proverbial “Heaven and Earth” to obstruct any investigation whether it is from Congress or not. Forget the idea of the Department of Justice investigating Trump; that federal agency is under the aegis of the executive branch and vulnerable to a Trump tantrum.

The only hope for a defense of America is that Republicans in the Senate, and possibly some in the “alt-right House, will put patriotism before party and take appropriate action in the face of an attack on America. If they fail to investigate the Trump Russia connection as vigorously as they have investigated the Democrats they targeted, then they are not only un-American, it likely means they have “knowledge of the commission of any treason” and by “not disclosing” the extent of the attack are, by legal definition, themselves guilty of misprision of treason.