With Trump's 30-minute meeting with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of this week's G20 suit in Hamburg turning into more than two hours, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed our worst fears: America under Trump is now nothing more than a client state of Russian interests. Molly McKew at Politico Magazine:
President Donald Trump needed to accomplish two things this week during his visits to Poland and the G-20 Summit in Hamburg. First, he needed to reassure America’s allies that he was committed to collective defense and the core set of values and principles that bind us together. Second, he needed to demonstrate that he understands that the greatest threat to that alliance, those values, and our security is the Kremlin.
Trump delivered neither of these. In very concrete terms, through speech and action, the president signaled a willingness to align the United States with Vladimir Putin’s worldview, and took steps to advance this realignment. He endorsed, nearly in its totality, the narrative the Russian leader has worked so meticulously to construct.
The readout of Trump’s lengthy meeting with Putin included several key points. First, the United States will “move on” from election hacking issues with no accountability or consequences for Russia; in fact, the U.S. will form a “framework” with Russia to cooperate on cybersecurity issues, evaluating weaknesses and assessing potential responses jointly. Second, the two presidents agreed not to meddle in “each other’s” domestic affairs—equating American activities to promote democracy with Russian aggression aimed at undermining it, in an incalculable PR victory for the Kremlin. Third, the announced, limited cease-fire in Syria will be a new basis for cooperation between the U.S. and Russia; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went so far as to say that the Russian approach in Syria—yielding mass civilian casualties, catastrophic displacement, untold destruction and erased borders—may be “more right” than that of the United States.
Each of these points represents a significant victory for Putin. Each of them will weaken U.S. tools for defending its interests and security from the country that defines itself as America’s “primary adversary.” Trump has ceded the battle space—physical, virtual, moral—to the Kremlin. And the president is going to tell us this is a “win.”
Trump's capitulation to Putin yesterday was nearly absolute. If there's still somehow any doubt left that Putin has complete control over Donald Trump and with it US foreign policy, this disastrous meeting buried those doubts in the Marianas Trench. Trump is basically saying that he will gladly look the other way on Russian hacking, look the other way on Ukraine, look the other way on Syria and Chechnya, on Putin's autocracy and most importantly on NATO.
Six months into his term and Trump has sold us out to his boss completely. Maybe, just maybe this is enough to get the GOP to do something, but I doubt it. They've refused to lift a finger so far and besides, they're too busy trying to kill off millions by destroying the health care system and it's not like they're worried about voters kicking them out thanks to successful massive voter suppression efforts soon coming to the entire country.
Unless something changes and fast, we're done as a democracy. Or as Chuck Pierce puts it:
I used to wonder how somebody could go broke running a casino. I don't wonder that anymore.
I'll take Obama's "Smartest Guy in The Room" act, with all its pitfalls, over the "Dumbest Guy Ever In The Oval Office". Because right now, we're the most dangerous rogue nation on earth, and the rest of the planet isn't going to tolerate us for long.