If you look at the official White House site, you will see lots of tough talk about how tough American toughness is and how tough we'll be in our tough negotiations and tough deals with weak foreigners that aren't as tough as we are:
America First Foreign Policy
The Trump Administration is committed to a foreign policy focused on American interests and American national security.
Peace through strength will be at the center of that foreign policy. This principle will make possible a stable, more peaceful world with less conflict and more common ground.
Trade Deals That Work For All Americans
With a lifetime of negotiating experience, the President understands how critical it is to put American workers and businesses first when it comes to trade. With tough and fair agreements, international trade can be used to grow our economy, return millions of jobs to America’s shores, and revitalize our nation’s suffering communities.
That all sounds tough and grrrrr! and awesome. America! Fuck yeah! Yet, Trump is right now hard at work giving the Russians back the compounds on American soil they used for spying on us that Obama took away from them in December. How does this serve America's interests? What, exactly, is the master negotiator getting for this massive concession?
Nothing. Not a goddamned thing. Not only that, but we were going to demand something equally valuable in return but then quickly decided not to haggle with Putin:
In early May, the Trump administration told the Russians that it would consider turning the properties back over to them if Moscow would lift its freeze, imposed in 2014 in retaliation for U.S. sanctions related to Ukraine, on construction of a new U.S. consulate on a certain parcel of land in St. Petersburg.
Two days later, the U.S. position changed. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a meeting in Washington that the United States had dropped any linkage between the compounds and the consulate, according to several people with knowledge of the exchanges.
Read "new U.S. consulate" as "new place to run spy operations from". Swapping a spy base for a spy base would be pretty typical as far as foreign policy goes. Giving back a spy base for free? That's not just "where's there's smoke" suspicious, that's "I'm holding the matches and I reek of gasoline as my house burns down behind me" suspicious. Remember, Trump's entire worldview is transactional, you only get when you give. More specifically for Trump, you only get from him when you give more. This has been the hallmark of his entire career as a professional grifter, sorry "businessman", that has left a decades long trail of cheated investors and contractors.
Knowing this about Trump means either he's getting something personally out of bending a knee to Putin or he's being coerced into allowing Russia to reopen known espionage operations. Frankly, I'm not sure which is more disturbing; the idea that our president is selling us out for greed or that he's utterly compromised. Although, really, it doesn't make a difference in the long run. If Trump were a normal person, there would be a limit to what he would do for money or out of fear of being exposed but this is Donald Trump we're talking about. He is, to himself at least, literally the most important person in the world and there is no limit to his self interest. If handing over the nuclear launch codes would keep the oligarch money rolling in or that pee-pee tape out of the news, does anyone think Donald Trump would place country before his own needs?
Yeah, me neither.
There are 518 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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