It is significant that Presidents Putin and Trump have both spoken out against “haters” among America’s political establishment who would rather see conflict between Russia and the United States instead of a normalization of bilateral relations.
Following their landmark, successful summit this week in Helsinki, Putin and Trump separately made public comments deploring the hostile hysterical reaction emanating from broad sections of the US political establishment and its dutiful, controlled news media.
Speaking in Moscow to his diplomatic corps, President Putin warned that there were “powerful forces” within the US which are ready to sacrifice the interests of their country and indeed the interests of world peace in order to pursue selfish ambitions.
For his part, Trump also slammed opponents in the US who “hated” to see him having a good meeting with Putin. “They would rather see a major confrontation with Russia, even if that could lead to war,” said the American president.
That’s it in a nutshell. Rather than welcoming the opening of a cordial dialogue between the US and Russia, the American political establishment seems to desire the deepening of already dangerous tensions between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. If that’s not deranged, then what is?
Significantly, the hostile reaction was overwhelmingly on the American side. Russians, by and large, welcomed the long-overdue summit between Trump and Putin, and the potential beginning of a new spirit of dialogue and partnership on a range of urgent global problems. Problems including arms control, nuclear proliferation, and working out political settlement to conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine and the Korea Peninsula.
Few people would believe that these problems can be resolved easily. But the main thing is that the leaders of the US and Russia are at least attempting to open a dialogue for understanding and political progress. That in itself is a breakthrough from the impasse in bilateral relations which have frozen into a new Cold War since the previous US administration.
We dare say that most citizens of the world would also endorse this effort by Trump and Putin at improving the relations between the US and Russia.
Significantly too, according to recent polls, most ordinary Americans seem to be agreeable or neutral about Trump’s diplomatic engagement with Russia. According to a Gallup poll out this week, the vast majority of US citizens are far more concerned by economic woes than they are by anything untoward in American-Russian relations.
Thus, what we are seeing in the explosion of hostility towards the Trump-Putin summit is twofold. It is an American phenomenon, and secondly, it is an angst that animates only the political class in Washington and the news media corporations. This constituency, it is fair to say, is an elite faction within the US, albeit extremely powerful, made up of Washington politicos, the state intelligence apparatus, the corporate media and think tanks, and the deep state establishment of imperial planners and strategists. In short, this constituency is what some observers call the “War Party” that transcends the US ruling class.
Any reasonable person would have to welcome the friendly rapport engendered between Trump and Putin, and at least their initial commitment to working together on major matters of global security. The dangerous impasse of recent years in which dialogue was absent must be overcome for the sake of world peace.
Nevertheless, what has become crystal clear this week following the Helsinki summit is the “War Party” within the US is more determined than ever to sabotage any rapprochement with Russia.
No sooner had Trump returned to the US, he was assailed with a tidal wave of vilification for having met Putin in a mutual, agreeable manner. The most disturbing aspect was the recurring slander denigrating Trump as a “traitor”. The hysterical name-calling was conveyed by all the major news media, citing former intelligence officials and politicians from both Democrat and Republican parties.
Which again shows that in the US there is really only one party, the War Party.
President Trump was evidently forced into making an embarrassing U-turn over his views expressed in Helsinki. He made an unconvincing disavowal of statements made alongside Putin. Trump had been pilloried for appearing to dismiss allegations of Russian interference in the US elections while he was in Helsinki. Within 24 hours, he was forced into making a retraction, saying that he did – kind of – believe that Russia had meddled in US democracy.
What Trump was subjected to by the US establishment was akin to the worst years of McCarthyite Red-Baiting as seen during the Cold War in the 1950s and 60s, when Americans were mercilessly humiliated and ostracized for being “Communist sympathizers”. Today, official American paranoia is back with a vengeance. In truth, it never went away.
To be fair to Trump he has not completely capitulated to the American derangement syndrome. He has since said that he is looking forward to holding a second meeting with his Russian counterpart and continuing their promises of partnership as announced in Helsinki.
However, it is instructive that the American president is, in effect, being held hostage by powerful elements in the US ruling class who view any kind of detente with Moscow as an unforgivable betrayal.
Trump’s instincts are correct that the whole so-called Russia-gate mania is a phony contrivance. That has been orchestrated by the US establishment based on its refusal to accept Trump’s democratic mandate, as well as being based on an abiding hostility towards Russia as an independent world power.
The object lesson here is that the scope for improving US-Russia relations is limited, in spite of Trump’s favorable personal inclinations.
An entrenched animosity towards Russia remains among the American War Party, and the current president has evidently little room for implementing his avowed policy of normalizing relations.
Russia therefore cannot place too much faith in making progress towards peaceful relations, because all-too apparently President Trump has actually very little freedom to exercise his democratic mandate. That is a damning indictment on the charade of American formal democracy. A president is elected partly on the basis of peaceful engagement, but the unelected powers-that-be have another agenda of conflict which they are pursuing come hell or high water.
What’s more, the American derangement syndrome is becoming even more virulent, as can be adjudged from this week’s hysterical backlash over the successful Helsinki summit.
Trump’s willingness for dialogue with Russia is a welcome development. But the far more disturbing development is the full-tilt belligerence and derangement on display among the American political class. This American political chizophrenia is a clear and present danger to world peace. American citizens are as much a victim of the madness as are Russians and the rest of the world.
One positive aspect of the new phase of Cold War is that before it was largely concealed, and deceived, as a simplistic bifurcated confrontation of Americans versus Russians. Today it is evidently a situation of an American deranged elite versus the rest of the world, with the latter including ordinary American citizens who have much more to gain from standing in solidarity with Russian citizens.