Monday, July 16, 2018

Trump Putin Summit: What I believe.

I just finished watching the Trump/Putin post summit press conference.  I only caught the last half of it.  Then I made a point of listening to the CNN and MSNBC post conference coverage.  Self flagellation?  No.  Just looking for the worst case scenario of interpretation.  Whew boy.  Sure got what I asked for!

So I guess we've heard the last about children at the border or that Kavanaugh will set the cause of women's rights back four decades.  I expect that for the next couple of weeks or maybe months, all we'll hear about is that Trump refused to call out Vladimir Putin, and that when a journalist asked Trump to choose between his own intelligence community or Vladimir Putin, Trump equivocated.

Former CIA Director John Brennan is tweeting about high crimes and misdemeanors, and the liberal press is losing their shit.

So in anticipation of all the rhetoric with which we are about to be deluged,, let me tell you what I believe:

I believe that Putin hated Hillary and see's Trump as a fool he can manipulate more easily.
I believe he may be right about that or he may be wrong about that.
I believe that Trump looked like a fool at the press conference.
I believe Putin acted on his preference for Trump to the point of commissioning the social media business which was the subject of Mueller's first indictments.
I believe he probably commissioned the GRU agents to hack the DNC which is the subject of Mueller's most recent indictments.
I believe that these combined actions of Russia may have tipped the scales to let Trump win the election.
I believe we'll never know for sure.
I believe the FBI may have blundered its way into having more influence on the election outcome than the Russians could have ever hoped to have.
I believe it is a moot point now.  Can't be changed.  Time to move on.  Trump is president.  Want to change it?  You'll get another crack at it in 2020.  Don't fuck it up with a shitty alternative!
I don't believe there was any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
I believe Trump probably believes his intelligence community and he knows Putin is lying about the interference.
I believe that we engage in election meddling as well, and have used it in places like Ukraine and maybe even Russia itself.
I believe Trump knows this or at least believes it as well.
I believe Trump's view is that we all do it.  Outrage over it is merely posturing.
I believe Trump has a serious agenda that he wants to accomplish with Putin.
I believe that agenda includes resolving elements of the Syria problem.
I believe that agenda involves protecting the interests of Israel in that resolution.
I believe that agenda involves diminishing the influence of Iran in Syria to further the interests of both the US and Israel.
I believe that when Trump talks about non-proliferation, which he has often done in connection with these talks, he is primarily referring to denying Iran a nuclear weapon.
I believe  Trump is convinced that Putin can help with that, maybe out of mutual interest or maybe at a price.
I believe the outrage over Trump's failure to call out president Putin over election interference is largely faux outrage manufactured by the left for political purposes.
I believe Trump believes the outrage is mostly political as well, and regardless of whether it is political or not, Trump doesn't share the concern.  As I said before.  We all do it.
I believe Trump is willing to take the hit over failure to call out Putin in order to achieve more substantial concessions on Syria/Israel/Iran/whatever else is on the serious agenda.
I believe that in order to maintain a cordial, non confrontational relationship and to avoid escalation of our differences and to promote mutual cooperation on these issues that actually matter, Trump spared Putin the embarrassment of calling him out in person, in public, and from a shared stage.
I believe Trump could very easily have told Putin behind closed doors that we know he did it, he may have acknowledged both sides do it.
I believe that  he may have warned that if Putin does it again, we will respond forcefully at a time of our choosing in a manner of our choosing and in a way that may or may not be directly attributable to us.
I believe that if that happened, we may never know about it.
I believe that we will know the summit was a failure if Bolton, Kelly, Pompeo, or Mattis resign.
I believe that we may suspect the summit was a success if the situation in Syria gets better and the prospects for Iran get worse.
I believe it is possible we will never know whether this summit was a success or not.