The Russification of America by Roger Cohen New York Times
“Trump’s uncontrolled communication is unsettling the world,” John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio told Roger Cohen at the recent Munich Security Conference. The Trump doctrine is chaos, and the Europeans are reeling, nervous and they don't know who or what to believe, writes Roger Cohen.
Vice President Mike Pence came, communicated and exited the Munich Security Conference without taking questions, promising that America's commitment to NATO was "unwavering". But Trump not only sent an appallingly misogynist message to the entire world last Friday -- refusing to shake German Prime Minister Angela Merkel's hand in a photo op at the White House -- but then dinging her on Twitter the next day, saying that Germany is behind in their NATO payments and this deficit must be rectified. Germany has a plan to meet their commitment of 2% of GDP to NATO, and there is no deficit on the NATO books -- whatever our asshat president proclaims. Perhaps then -- when Germany meets their 2% commitment -- our emperor king president will condescend to give Merkel -- the real leader of the free world -- his hand.
Our new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he is too busy to attend the previously scheduled NATO meeting in April, due to a meeting with the Chinese government -- a decision the German press calls "unprecedented". . And then he is headed for Moscow. With gasps abounding on both sides of the Atlantic, Tillerson has offered up new dates for the NATO meeting.
This very minute -- March 22, 2017 -- an apparent terrorist attack has occurred in London, the week after Trump accused British intelligence of working with former President Obama to install surveillance at Trump Tower. Both US and British intelligence agencies are far more professional that America's burn-it-down presidential suite, and relations with British intelligence are said to be intact, after America's cry baby presidential Twitter tirade.
A No-Credibility President
Donald Trump has totally undermined America's word, our promises, that we will do what we say -- as opposed to turning foreign policy upside down in a 3 am tweet-storm. Cohen is correct: "The Russification of America under Trump has proceeded apace. Vladimir Putin’s macho authoritarianism, disdain for the press, and mockery of the truth has installed itself on the Potomac," writes Cohen.
On Monday, FBI Director Comey announced that there has been a formal investigation of Russia's involvement in trying to affect the outcome of the US presidential election since July 2016. The bureau is also investigating the involvement and possible collaboration of members of the Trump campaign -- or close friends-- with Russia.
As we speak, House of Representatives Intel Chairman Devin Nunes is on his way to the White House after speaking with reporters first. America's president will throw a real stink bomb over that action, but it minimizes his ability to threaten Nunes in the Oval Office.
Nunes told reporters the collection of intelligence information connected to the Trump administration appeared to be "normal" and "all legally collected foreign intelligence under" the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.
Nunes said he was "alarmed" by the findings.
Plot Thickens Around Manafort
Former chairman of the Trump campaign Paul Manafort -- onboard for about six months, not two as asserted by Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer -- is the center of multiple investigations. The AP published an explosive report Wednesday about Manafort's pro-Putin agenda.
A Russian billionaire paid former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort millions of dollars to boost the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press reports. The new allegations arise months after Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign amid concerns over his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.
"According to documents that we've reviewed, Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian oligarch who wanted him to promote Russian interests," the AP's Chad Day tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "And in particular, he wrote a memo that outlined this kind of vast plan for him to promote Russian interests in the former Soviet republics — and also to specifically benefit the Putin government."
Putin is a living example of what John le Carré called “the classic, timeless, all-Russian, barefaced, whopping lie”, bringing his buddy Donald Trump onto the international stage with a shared embrace of what Joseph Conrad before le Carré called Russian officialdom’s “almost sublime disdain for the truth.”
Donald Trump looks very much to be in Putin's pocket, a puppet far more than a strong, calm, thoughtful American president. This is one very, very frightening, bad dream -- a nightmare that a majority of Americans are living 24/7 -- and it's only been a month. The massive majority of Republicans say Trump is doing a good job, but even they are scared silly because the entire country has been plunged into a five-alarm bowl of real-man's chili.
I don't like chaos; I grew up in an abusive, manic-depressive household and worked hard to put it all behind me. Now Donald Trump has dragged me back into this chaos in his self-serving, egotistical, narcissistic nightmare. It can't end soon enough for me. I'm actually glad that we have so many Generals serving -- men that both Republicans and Democrats praise highly. I never though I would say this, but the Generals may be our only hope in Trump's Russian-loving, Steve Bannon plot to blow up everything I hold dear. ~ Anne