Look forward to @smsaideman's expletive-free interview about the Trump/Putin meeting later this afternoon. https://t.co/MzhPpDLqFx— CBC Here and Now (@CBCHereandNow) July 16, 2018
So far, so good, no cursing, but also no equivocating or balancing. Just speaking the truth:
- That Trump sold out a precious commodity--recognition of Russia as an equal--for nothing. Not even a bag of magic beans. During the Cold War, the Soviets desperately wanted to be seen as an equal. Nixon and Kissinger finally gave them this recognition via detente--and got stuff from it--arms control, Helsinki Accords (which the annexation of Crimea trashed), and other stuff. Sure, there were problems and contradictions, as the US did not think it was giving the Soviets carte blanche to invade Afghanistan and parachute troops around Africa. Anyhow, when the USSR collapsed, so did its parity. This is something Putin was desperate to reverse. Today, he got it--as Trump recognized Russia and Putin as partners in guaranteeing international peace and order. What did Trump get? Today, nothing. Well, a soccer ball.
- That the concerns about the private one on one are legitimate. Trump is an unreliable narrator so his staff will have no idea what they talked about for two hours. Putin probably has it taped and could certainly come up with a falsified account if needed. So, no, we will never really know what they talked about.
- Trump basically said that he believes Putin (don't see why Putin would intervene in the election) over his own intel agencies. Talk about a crisis in civ-civ relations. What will the intel community do? I have a guess: leak like a sieve. I am not saying that the indictment of a Russian who worked with the NRA is a leak.... but do watch the newspapers over the next few days.
- What else did they talk about? Who the fuck cares? No deliverables, no progress on any file.
- What did each leader walk away with? If Trump had the capacity for shame, well, he'd at least have that. Not much else. Putin? He got to appear as an equal, and he got to divide the west.
Not a great deal for democracy and the west. If only I could have bet on Trump mentioning the electoral college during the press conference, then I could have been a winner.