Donald Trump arrived at the G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires a thoroughly whipped man. While other nations were able to conduct open negotiations, Trump was constrained by Robert Mueller and his foreign policy handlers. John Bolton seemed positively smug as he viewed his so-called boss meander around the premises unloved and ignored. The neo-Conservative camarilla could engage in a high-five, Trump reduced to pathetic irrelevance.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jingping took away the laurels able to communicate with friend and foe alike. Putin chaired a committee of BRICS, that group containing Russia, India, China, South Africa and Brazil, while President Xi held Trump in thrall. Beleaguered by the Khashoggi affair and changes of Russia collusion, the president could not contact Putin and was desperate to gain China’s favor. Meanwhile, his own Defense Secretary James “Maddog” Mattis was accusing Russia of interfering in the 2018 midterms. Some government.
Trump, no doubt, wanted to contact Putin, but the actions of Petro Poroshenko, the belligerent Ukrainian president, helped forestall any meeting. When Ukrainian naval vessels without notification tried to breach the straits between the Kerch peninsula and Crimea, Russian warships intervened. Naturally, the praetorians struck with the insipid United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley taking the lead. Mattis joined in and Bolton pulled the strings.
Even Angela Merkel gave Putin a hearing. Trump tried to break through the cordon but it proved too much. All of this was noticed by other world leaders who saw it as fruitless to deal with the United States. Trump postponed tariffs with China, albeit temporarily, as if he will be able to ever bring the subject up again.
Of course, Trump only has himself to blame because his lack of conviction. Speeches in Des Moines do not substitute for action. Given the insubordination of his staff, he should have sacked the lot of them, not only for disloyalty but incompetence. Trump lost and Putin won, ironically because the overzealous actions of anti-Putin advisors. They were motivated by their hope that they would restore the good old days of George W.
It certainly was not out of concern for the old standby, human rights. Mattis fully endorsed the Saudi government and the Crown Prince of extension. However, even Mohammed bin-Salman saw past this and sent a signal by high-fiving Putin at the start of the conference. Later, they did something more substantial — they renewed an agreement on oil prices between OPEC members Russia and Saudi Arabia. Mattis’s approach was Saudi Arabia, yes, the Crown Prince, no — but that clearly backfired. Meanwhile, the feckless Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was excoriated for his stance denying the CIA report placing the Khashoggi murder clearly at the feet of the Crown Prince.
Again, Trump was led into a political minefield courtesy of his advisors. In order to keep the status quo in foreign policy, the praetorians are more than eager to bring the United States down. The masters of war are at it again and the public must once again beware.