The reactions of the American media to the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki on Jul 16, 2018 certify them as myopic, partisan, fake news and prove once and for all the old adage about the blind calling an elephant a snake as they feel only its trunk. They think Trump has diminished America by truckling to Putin, the big winner. On the contrary, Trump emerges the elder statesman and global peace maker/strategist showing the way for America and Russia to get along and hold in check China as well as other minor bullies, rogues, and terrorists.
One may even go as far as to say that Helsinki 2018 is the finest hour of American diplomacy and redeems the horror of the American macho “toughness” (more accurately, foolhardiness) displayed by Kennedy vis-a-vis Khrushchev 56 years ago over the Cuban Crisis, which could have ended life on earth. The blind talking heads and pundits are insensitive to the all-conquering imperative for America and Russia to get along, the chilling specter still hanging over our heads: 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads in the hands of the duo, each capable, if provoked, of turning the Earth singlehandedly into a dead planet many times over in the twinkling of an eye.
(1) Competitor, not Adversary
Adroitly, Trump turns a reporter’s ploy to trap the two men into an adversarial relationship by calling Russia a competitor, a compliment because competition is the mantra of capitalism, endorsed by Putin and other post-Soviet Russians. He foils another reporter’s attempt to make him eat his word, telling Merkel not to buy Russian gas and make Germany vulnerable, language reminiscent of the Cold War: it’s just salesmanship, he jests, trying to sell American surplus gas and oil. Trump, the master dealer, defuses the tension between the two countries by transforming possible armed conflict into humdrum commercial negotiation.
(2) Mum on Crimea
The blind fakes denounce Trump for failing to order the KGB thug to get out of Crimea, failing to note that the annexation is not so cut and dried or single dimensional. A seaside way station since time immemorial for every tribal or troop movement from the continent to the Black Sea and vice versa, Crimea was made part of Russia in 1783 and was assigned in 1954 from Russia to Ukraine, then both in the USSR, for rezoning purposes, and left as an “autonomous” appendage to Ukraine following the Soviet collapse in 1991 until its recent Russian takeover, which is not exactly a grab and gulp in the old imperialistic mode. It would be quixotic of America to rise up in indignation and go to war to force Russia to cough up Crimea. Wisely, therefore, Trump lets Putin state his case. Noting Trump’s standing opposition to the Russian intervention in 2014, Putin cites the overwhelming (95%) referendum in favor, 90% of the Crimeans speaking Russian. Trump lets it rest there, not because he is ignorant of the inflated statistics but because the alternative, restoration to Ukraine for whatever reason, is just not worth rocking the boat of friendship just launched between the two countries.
(3) Throwing US Intelligence Under the Bus on Russian Collusion and Meddling
In reply to a reporter’s question whether he wanted Trump to win, Putin frankly admits he did because Trump wanted to get along with Russia whereas Hillary didn’t, but categorically denies doing anything to bury her, like hacking into the Hillary campaign and digging up dirt on her to share and collude with Trump. “I didn’t know him in 2016 to collude with,” he says, though the translation seems somewhat mangled.
Citing Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers a reporter tenaciously points out that based on indisputable US intelligence Russia has hacked into Hillary’s DNC. Putin denies this unequivocally and invites Mueller to come over and interrogate the persons charged. At this point the guy, a fake news stoolie with no qualms about putting his President on the spot, asks point blank whether he takes Putin’s word against his own US intelligence. Is Trump to wreck this once in a lifetime opportunity to get along with Russia by calling Putin a liar? Trump dodges the frontal attack and questions the infallibility of any intelligence service, including that of the US which to date has not produced Hillary’s server or missing emails. Of course this evasion, more accurately diplomatic nicety, is fuel for the firestorm at home, one CNN know-all gravely declaring that Trump has thrown his own intelligence people under the bus.
Actually, Trump could have told Putin something like “collusion no but meddling yes,” even if it may have been to help him, and rebuked him, though good-naturedly. He is known to be blunt at his own expense. But there is no clear-cut evidence for meddling in his favor. In fact, hacking or false hacking went on in the other direction fueling the Witch Hunt unleashed by the FISA application based on the Trump dossier, Russian fabricated. If Russia was meddling, it was doing so in the most bizarre fashion imaginable, “peeing in both directions,” as a Korean adage goes about a drunk male not knowing where the piss pot is. Trump is wise to stay clear of Russian meddling as it would question the sanity of the man whose goodwill he wants to cultivate.
(4) Airing Dirty Laundry All Over the World
The visually impaired self-righteous patriotic media cannot fathom why Trump should mention Hillary’s destroyed emails and server, his running a clean campaign, and even slime like FBI agent Strzok, all domestic issues, not for the whole world to gloat over. Never has an American President behaved so despicably at an international forum. So unseemly, un-presidential, nay treasonous!
On the contrary, the self-styled patriots in fact diminish America, thinking these matters purely domestic, dirty laundry. They underestimate the importance of what goes on in American politics to Russia and the rest of the world, all getting a real time lesson on how democracy works, with all its limitations, ultimately for application to their own politics and government. Truly un-American are these Americans, who take an insular view of their role as the path finder for the whole world (see The American Age, 6-9-2014, typakmusings.com).
Just as we Americans appreciate Donald for his candor and transparency, so does the world, lapping up whatever the President of the US airs, especially his dirty laundry, to assure them we are all human after all, no matter our circumstances.
(5) Who is the Big Winner?
Particularly pathetic is a female talking head lamenting Trump’s appearance, a wimp compared to the manly self-assured Putin. Is she jealous of Melanie? Throughout the whole encounter Trump comes across as a gracious, indulgent elder ready to take anything the junior might throw at him. Nor is Putin brash or cocky. If he is indeed the big winner as the fake media would have it, at least he doesn’t lord it over the loser. In fact, the opposite is the case: right cordial, deferential, respectful he is throughout. We can feel the good vibes between the two. Collusion? Putin with something on Trump? Give me a break. The tension has snapped “4 hours ago”, Helsinki time, Jul 16, 2018, and we may have just been ushered into a new era. The verdict:
Both have won big for the whole world.