The media\pundit reactions to Putin and Trump’s historic meeting in Helsinki are strongly divided into two very extreme camps - one casually accusing the US President of some sort of treasonous collusion and the other claiming they have seen the dawn of a new era of peace in our time.
Starting with those who saw the first steps towards forging a Pax Americana-Russica, former presidential advisor, and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan wrote an article aptly reflecting his opinion - “Trump Calls off Cold War II”. Buchanan believes that Trump “has rejected the fundamental premises of American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and blamed our wretched relations with Russia, not on Vladimir Putin, but squarely on the U.S. establishment.” By doing this he believes Trump is averting a possible and pointless disaster that could occur due to the current tensions.
One should be reminded that Buchanan is no pro-Russian shill, he just shares the realist perspective on international relations that Trump promotes. Regarding Putin and Russia he stated that he agrees with Trump’s position that “we are not going to let Putin’s annexation of Crimea or aid to pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine prevent us from working on a rapprochement and a partnership with him...“. Very logical words from a realist American perspective.
One former Cold Warrior Paul Craig Roberts, who was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under Reagan came out strong for the “peace” camp stating “the US Democratic Party is determined to take the world to thermo-nuclear war rather than to admit that Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election fair and square.”
Roberts sees the overall motivation of those continuing to push Russia-gate (and to an extent those who have cried collusion over the Helsinki summit) are preventing “Trump from making peace with Russia and, thus, by making the world safer, threatening the massive, unjustified budget of the military/security complex”. In his view bad relations are good for “business”.
In terms of the “collusion” camp, former CIA Director John Brennan had very bold criticism of Trump’s actions especially regarding Russia-gate. He stated via Twitter that “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
Although anti-Trump rhetoric is thrown at us constantly when the word “treason” is used (a crime with harsh punishments) by a former king within the Deep State this is not to be taken so lightly. Then again, “former” government/intelligence employees have much more latitude with wild speech than those still on the active list. Sadly Twitter is not a good format for making accusations as there is no room for further explanation or evidence.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper found Trump’s words to be “disgraceful” and the TV Channel’s take on the summit was that “Trump sides with Putin over US intelligence”. Essentially they feel that he is choosing to believe Putin instead of US intelligence when it comes to Russiagate which looks very suspicious. Then again if Trump were to agree with US intelligence guilty or not he would be going to jail. This is a position that we are unlikely to see from Trump, right or wrong.
In my own personal opinion I think the strongest single positive move made by Trump was the decision to have the US and Russia conduct joint operations in Syria to “ensure Israeli security”. This is incredibly important as a first step because it is possibly the only US-Russia project that the Republican Party (and many Democrats) cannot say “no” to. It will take a lot of mental gymnastics for the Deep State to be able to make an argument against providing Israel security considering Israel has been a top foreign policy issue for decades and occupies a special place in the hearts (and thanks to lobbyists possibly in the pockets) of the Washington elite and on the Grand Chessboard of geopolitics.
What Republican will stand up against operations that will secure the Golan Heights (near where the last bits of rebel forces are still fighting) securing Israel from Iranian/Hezbollah threats? Not a single one of them will. So this was a genius choice as the safe starting point for an actual US-Russian “reset”.
To a somewhat lesser but still important extent, Trump was also able to send a signal that he is 1) going to fulfill his campaign promises regarding positive relations with Russia and 2) going to pursue the foreign policy that he feels is best for America, experts, advisors and Deep State be damned. This is one instance where Trump’s arrogance actually works in his and the nation’s favor. There are some times when you need a leader to just do as he sees fit and actually lead.
But many do not like this approach when they disagree and their disagreement with the President somehow means that he is a “traitor”. Treason is violating the Constitution or selling out the United States and as of this moment nothing discussed or agreed to does either of these. Perhaps Trump is a traitor to some “vision” of the future that the Beltway has, but in the legal sense they have nothing solid on him. If they did, they would have probably used it by now.Little by little despite being under daily attack Trump only gets stronger and stronger. Even a year a go he could not have held a summit like this with Putin but he has managed to triumph over the media and push forward.
If we are to take anything away from this event it is…
There is a long road ahead but the Helsinki summit is the first step.
Joint Defence of Israel is something Republicans and many Democrats simply cannot say “no” to, so it is a great first building block for the US-Russian Trump-era Reset.
Trump is strong enough to deal with the media and attempt to pursue the foreign policy that he feels is best.
Massive vague accusations of treason even by important people have thus far failed to slow Trump down in the long run.
Cold War 2.0 could be annulled.