Well, at least one Trump knows what they are doing in the White House. Melania’s sacking of John Bolton’s deputy, Mira Ricardel, demonstrates that at least she understands the poor quality of the staff surrounding her husband. If she completes the job and helps relieve John Bolton and James Mattis of their duties, the republic will be better off.
Despite Melania’s obvious displeasure with the high-handed methods of Ricardel, she probably had political motives. Ricardel’s family hailed from Bosnia. Melania hails from Slovenia, another province in the now defunct Yugoslavia. Whatever the first lady’s reasoning, she protected her husband better than the war-obsessed neo-conservatives surrounding him.
From the start, the neo-conservative Camarilla enveloped Donald Trump. First, H.R. McMasters, who gave Trump the same tiresome advice as was given George W. Bush, tried to manipulate Trump. Then, it was Rex Tillerson, a promising appointment it appeared at the outset, who proved just as hard-line as McMasters. Now it is Bolton, who was even a worse pick than McMaster, who tries to treat Trump like a puppet. Oh, the praetorian guard keeps shifting, but it is the same old group.
Indeed, the attempts to persuade the president that he lacks proper judgment has only served to confuse the issues. His son-in-law Jared Kushner pushed Trump into playing micro-politics in Saudi Arabia. Now, despite the fact that the CIA has labeled Mohammed Bin-Salman as the initiator behind the death of Jamal Khashoggi, Trump is still defending the Crown Prince. Bolton played to Trump’s worst instincts on Iran. Moreover, Bolton, who supposedly has blue-ribbon relations with Israel, could not predict the turmoil within that government. When it comes to foreign policy, the Trump team is a club of the misinformed and delusional.
Not since Harry Truman muffed relations with the USSR, while being confused with Mao Zedong in China, has American foreign policy been in such disarray. Trump’s team has managed to offend our allies but to united nations that have no particular liking for the other. China is linked with Russia’s federation and the United States is encouraging their dependent North Korea to brazenly disregard the “understanding” between Kim Jong Un and Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is sending confusing signals. Perhaps Trump does not like to pursue a foreign policy he does not prefer. The hard line does not come easily to the entrepreneurial president any more than it did to Henry Ford.
Pompeo is locked into a hopeless sanction regimen against Russia while trying to excuse the murderous activities of a Saudi Crown prince. The only real support for Russian sanctions come from the beleaguered Theresa May. Germany and France, I suspect, will open up lines of communication with Vladimir Putin. With the St. Vitus dance dominating the pace of United States foreign policy, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel might want consistency. Putin is in a position to deal; Trump, meanwhile, has his hands tied by Robert Mueller’s investigations. As old Trump might put it, not good