August 22, 2018


The bizarre disconnect between Trump and the White House on Russia (Paul Brandus, Aug 21, 2018, MarketWatch)

[T]here's a bizarre disconnect between what the president says and what his administration has done. For example, it has tweaked Moscow in ways that Barack Obama wouldn't: agreeing to sell lethal weaponry to Ukraine for example, so it could better defend itself against the Russians, and by launching a cruise missile attack against Syria's Bashar al-Assad to punish him for chemical weapons attacks against his own people. If Trump's a Kremlin puppet, why would he do such things?

Trump has also criticized a planned 800-mile pipeline that would deliver natural gas from Russia to energy-hungry Germany. "Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russia because it's getting so much of its energy from Russia," Trump said at last month's NATO summit. "We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that's being paid to the country we're supposed to be protecting against."

That's a valid point. Why is Germany, a key American ally, helping to prop up Putin's regime? If Russia's such a menace, and its economy is so reliant on oil and gas exports, doesn't it make sense to hit Moscow in its achilles heal? And if Trump's a Kremlin stooge, why is he out to scuttle the deal?

The administration has also hit Russia, arguably reluctantly, with sanctions. In March, after special counsel Robert Mueller's indicted 13 Russians for cyberattacks during the 2016 election, the administration imposed financial sanctions on 19 people and a number of Russian organizations, including intelligence services. It was a rare example of Trump rowing in the same direction as the man leading what the president calls the "witch hunt" into alleged campaign collusion.

And earlier this month, the administration imposed still more sanctions against Putin's government after a chemical weapon attack on an ex-spy living in Britain.

What's going on here? Is Trump really a tough guy like he claims? Is the opposition claim that he's rolling over for the Russians just "fake news?"

"It depends on whose policy you think that is," says Dr. Tom Nichols, a national security professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island. "I think these policies are running without him. I think the whole government is basically functioning without a chief executive."

There's a famous poem called "Footprints," or "Footprints in the Sand":

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."

Thankfully, when we finally purge Donald from the White House he will have left no footprints.

Posted by at August 22, 2018 4:37 AM