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February 3, 2017


Just yesterday I wrote and published a post in which I said that Trump had approved Putin’s annexation of the Crimea, which he did. Later in the day Trump’s new UN ambassador made a speech in which she said that Russia must vacate Crimea and that Crimea was a part of the Ukraine. The gist of my post in re Putin’s land grab of the Crimea was immediately rendered old news. I have to wonder what the morrow will bring, that such annexation is O.K. again, or that it isn’t, or that yet another response is under consideration? We don’t need chaos in policy making, which is hardly a recipe for making America great again since neither our allies nor our enemies nor we nor rational people anywhere can know what our day to day policies are. It would be helpful if Trump relied more on Congress and congressional and agency staff to assist him in making more durable policies rather than (with the help of the fascist Bannon at his side and now on the Security Council) making policies from on high and communicated by tweet.

Where is the consistency and continuity of policy with the Trump administration? Trump during the campaign said that Putin’s annexation of the Crimea was O.K. and tells us he is “keeping his campaign promises.” With his UN ambassador’s speech yesterday, it is clear that this is one campaign promise (that it was O.K. for Putin to annex Crimea) that he will not keep, or at least until tomorrow or the next day, when he and his fascist adviser Bannon may well come up with another view of Putin’s annexation. Who can know? We bloggers who are commenting on issues of the day may be writing more and more obselete essays what with this plainly confused administration’s policy reversals by the hour (see the putdown of Israeli new housing commitments on disputed land after Trump’s invitation to Netanyahu to come to Washington for a visit.) Netanyahu must be confused, too.

For the record, however, I agree that Russia must vacate the Crimea and call a halt to their proxy war with the Ukraine in the eastern part of that country, but Putin can wait it out. Maybe tomorrow or next week it will be O.K. again, or maybe Trump’s UN ambassador will announce new sanctions or remove old sanctions against Russia or maybe. . . . .  Who can know what is churning in Trump’s narcissistic mind where our country’s interests are secondary to his “looking good?” I remember well during the campaign when he was confronted by those who asked about his weak responses to Putin’s aggression that he replied “that Putin said some nice things about me.”

Is that a test of a bilateral relationship between sovereign states, the new standard we are to employ in our international relations, i.e., that someone said something nice? When are we going to talk about Putin’s land grabs, assassinations of political opponents, murders, and cybercrimes designed to undermine our democracy and that of others? What should really be of a more immediate concern is that Trump has admired Putin and called him “a strong leader,” which is a “nice” compliment. So, with the help of a fascist adviser at his side who is probably also saying “nice things” about his boss to curry the boss’s favor, can we expect Trump to emulate Putin and become “a strong leader,” too? Where is this thing headed in Trump’s me-me-me I know more than anybody and want most to be liked world of terminal narcissism other than an unraveling of our democracy in favor of autocratic rule?

Meanwhile, other bloggers and I will just have to write about current affairs and unresolved policy issues such as sanctions on Russia and Iran as though they are current and will be around long enough to discuss before Trump and his sidekick adviser render such offerings obselete as we proceed from one chaotic day to another in real time. I’ve no idea of what the morrow will bring, do you?         GERALD        E


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