Report was a dud

The much-balleyhooed Mueller report proved to be a dud. It represents the biggest attempt by foreign policy hardliners to present any reapproachment with the Russian federation.

For two years, the tax dollars flowed and the moralists thundered, not to mention the remarks questioning Donald Trump’s loyalties by the so-called gate keepers of American foreign policy, both Democrats and Republicans.

But, they did their damage, managing to cram Trump’s foreign policy teams with hardliners and interventionists. When Trump entered office, there were signs that perhaps the hardline against Russia may have been eased. But, the actions of John Brennan and the other representatives of the “resistance” among the establishment pushed Trump into a position where he could only gingerly approach Vladimir Putin. Then he met the Russian leader in Helsinki, he was accused of treason by his critics.

What they achieved was a mess in Europe and a stalemate in the Middle East. In Asia, China continued its expansion of the Belt and road initiative. With Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, Trump’s most recent handlers, the old tut-tut, shame shame approach was taken. Congress under both Republicans and Democrats continued the path of meaningless sanctions and condemnations. Pompeo and Bolton sabotaged the talks with North Korea. Congress let fly with more anti-Kim Jong Un rhetoric, and threatening department imposed meaningless sanctions on Pyongyang. Smartly, Trump refused to enforce them.

Perhaps he might be allowed to approach countries like the Philippines in an intelligent manner. The moralizers in the State Department condemned Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, for being a hardliner in his war against drugs.

Although Duterte liked Trump, he concluded that with Congress and the National Security apparatus against any attempt to improve relations, it would be better to tilt toward China. They agreed to embrace the belt and road initiative as has Italy, another government that favors Trump but not his advisors.

Trump realized more than the coup of State Department functionaries that the world had changed and the old approaches were not working. George W. Bush wrecked Iraq, Hillary Clinton destabilized Libya and only Barack Obama halted doing the same with Syria. All the usual suspects in foreign policy was to prefer hardline and an updated version of the Cold War. The attempted coup against Recep Erdogan in Turkey in the Obama years pushed a NATO member to the final degree.

Democrats would be well-advised to avoid the impeachment talk. Nancy Pelosi was correct in warning against it as the risky path that it is.

Trump did not win because of Russia, and he will not lose because of collusion. The issue was stirred up by the FBI and CIA and their friends as a way to prevent any improvement or at least new approaches to countries that Trump has correctly referred to as rivals but not enemies.

Maybe the president, at least concerning his foreign policy team, can clear the decks.