Wednesday, July 18, 2018

If Anything, Things Look Worse

It's been one bummer of a week, and it's little more than half over. While we don't know what Trump discussed with his boss on Monday, there are some suggestive hints... Trump's bizarre statement about Montenegro's people being aggressive, and the possibility of them starting World War Three, is troublesome, considering that Montenegro joined NATO last year. Putin probably backed an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016. Trump's statement about Montenegro signals that the United States can no longer be trusted to honor the obligations encoded by its alliances... to me, it looks like NATO is functionally done.

Just as worrisome is Trump's refusal to rule out handing former ambassador Michael McFaul to the tender mercies of Putin's inquisitors. This is a clear signal to anyone in the diplomatic corps that diplomatic immunity is now a farce. It also signals that the US Government doesn't take seriously its obligation to protect United States citizens from autocratic regimes with which the US doesn't even have an extradition treaty. McFaul may be Putin's enemy, but he's no enemy of the American people.

Mere discussion of violating treaties and extraditing American citizens to hostile foreign powers is an unacceptable subversion of the norms by which civilized societies work. If this doesn't spur Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings, then this downward spiral into autocracy will ramp up.


mikey said...

Oh, give me a fucking break.

Congress doesn't have to initiate impeachment to prevent Bill Browder or Mr. McFaul to be 'handed over'.

There are many things that Trump would love to do that he simply cannot.

Please don't pretend he has unlimited power - the important story of our time - so far - is that he most certainly does NOT..

mikey said...

Also, too, it really doesn't matter what Trump discussed with Putin in secret. Because absolutely nothing he actually DOES - whether eliminating sanctions or officially accepting the occupation of Crimea or whatever - can be done in secret. He'll have to try to actually DO these things in full daylight, and for the most part, he can't.

I also think your fears of WWIII with Russia are wildly overblown. Russia is NOT in any way a superpower - except perhaps in strategic weapons and land mass. They CAN'T fight a war - they'd run out of planes, tanks, helicopters and artillery in an hour. Please remember, they have the GDP of Italy. And Putin does NOT want to die in a nuclear war, so things won't go that way.

That said, Trump is right. There is no way that the US, UK, France or Germany is going to go to war with Russia over Montenegro - or Estonia or POland, for that matter. NATO is a dead letter, because the world has changed so radically in the last fifty years.

There are real issues to worry about - this ain't one of 'em...