As his impeachment moved forward, in a morning press conference in London this week, Donald Trump mentioned casually that he and Vladimir Putin are discussing the elimination of nuclear weapons. Although this should put a major crimp in the foreign policy establishment’s all-pervading Russophobia, the US media (including Fox News) went deaf at that moment.
Trump was holding a news conference at the NATO summit, rebutting French President Macron’s accusation that, having failed to respond to Turkey’s assault on its Kurdish allies against ISIS, the alliance is ‘brain dead’. Focusing on that story, the US media ignored Trump’s latest ‘sin’: negotiating with the ‘enemy’ to eliminate weapons that would send the planet back to the stone age. Single-mindedly, it continued to cover in excruciating detail the latest installment in the impeach-ment inquiry, failing to mention Trump’s briefly genteel tone at NATO that momentarily made him look presidential. (More importantly, it overlooked the fact that Ukraine might well have weighed in on Hillary’s side in the 2016 election, since she repeatedly declared her intention of taking down its antagonist, Russia.)
After three years of behaviors that didn’t quite make the cut, Congress has now settled on Trump’s attempt to enroll Ukraine in the 2020 presidential campaign to move forward with impeachment hearings. Failing to explain how this attempt would have affected America’s ‘security’, it opened formal hearings that sent the White House into a tailspin. And yet, Trump turned what should have been an embarrassing moment on the world stage into a plus, at times even looking presidential as he reviewed Europe’s monetary commitments to the alliance. (At one point, a group of leaders were shown in what looked like a mocking gaggle, but their voices were inaudible.)
Not only did the American media fail to acknowledge Trump’s ability to appear statesmanlike in front of an international audience even as constitutional scholars were testifying that his behavior met the Founders’ criteria for impeachment, it failed to mention Macron’s call for Europe to adopt a new attitude toward Russia. We can expect that the more Trump tries to cooperate with the Russian President to reduce nuclear weapons, the more the deep state is likely to double down on plans to take on Russia — and eventually China.
Regrettably, the media barely mentioned the fact that Nancy Pelosi took time off from the impeachment process to lead a brief appearance of a congressional delegation at the NATO conference, announcing that Congress will not ratify Trump’s desertion of the Paris Accords, while former Secretary of State and presidential contender John Kerry kicked off a campaign to combat climate change in tandem with American youth movements. But although they can ‘walk and chew gum at the same time’, unless the Democrats can get behind a presidential candidate brave enough to also reject Russophobia, feeling isolated rather than protected by its two oceans, the US will continue as the world’s biggest threat.
Deena Stryker is a US-born international expert, author and journalist that lived in Eastern and Western Europe and has been writing about the big picture for 50 years. Over the years she penned a number of books, including Russia’s Americans. Her essays can also be found at Otherjones. Especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.