Trump, Tillerson, and Russia: Opinion

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Trump, Tillerson, and Russia: Opinion

Original by Dmitriy Evstafiyev published Rambler News; translation by J.Hawk

If one were to attempt to sum up the main message and the general mood of the recent statements by the President-Elect Donald Trump and State Secretary nominee Rex Tillerson, one must not for a minute forget about the anti-Trump and anti-Russia hysteria organized even as curtains close on Barack Obama’s final term. When it comes to this hysteria’s intensity, the US has not experienced anything like this since probably the era of McCarthy at the peak of the Cold War. Currently the danger lies in that anti-Trump rhetoric is beginning to merge with the anti-Russian one.

In this respect, neither Trump nor, especially, his team cannot be entirely unaffected by this extremely negative information background. No matter what they say, no matter how they demonstrate their independence from the media, in reality they are under the media’s influence and forced to correct their statements. Which both politicians proved during their subsequent appearances. All of their recent statements are a reply to external irritants rather than presentation of strategic plans. Such plans do not yet exist.

Moreover it is perfectly evident that, in spite of its amateurishness, the leak of information about the supposed possession by Russian secret services compromising information on Trump was nevertheless painful for the president-elect. Not least because the leak is consistent with the image painted in the mind of the average American burgher who has an anti-Trump mindset. Naturally, Obama’s successor could not help but react and, as the large press conference showed, he reacted quite well. But, I’ll say this again, the whole story demonstrated to what extent the elected president is vulnerable to an information war by the largest US media.

As far as Tillerson’s statements are concerned, it would be naive to believe he would start waving the Russian flag right at the confirmation hearings. If one examines them without unnecessary illusions, one can’t help but notice a certain shift. Thus the question of Russia’s sovereignty of Crimea was no longer being discussed from the “it won’t be because it can’t be” position. Instead the State Secretary nominee named conditions under which Washington would be able to recognize the peninsula as part of the Russian Federation.

One must also keep in mind that any serious changes in US foreign policy will begin not right after January 20, when Trump is inaugurated, but rather after 6-8 months or perhaps even a year. The main issue right now is personnel changes. During this process the new president will have to be ready to face pressure by the media which won’t pass up an opportunity to organize leaks concerning the head of state’s domestic and foreign policies.

One final thing. Let’s not forget that Trump’s task is not establishing friendly relations with Russia. “We’ll either get along or we won’t”—he stated this with extreme directness, implying that the getting along will be done on his, Donald Trump’s, terms. And he, as we know, has a mandate to “make America great again.” Under the current conditions that task can only be accomplished at the expense of other countries, since the US has lost the internal driver  of its “greatness” over the last 25 years.

Therefore we should stop perceiving the Republican billionaire as a nice guy with whom we’ll naturally get along. There is nothing inevitable about good relations between Washington and Moscow, and there can’t be. With that in mind, we are entering a very turbulent era in the Russia-US relations, and a far less predictable one than during the Obama Administration.

 

 

 

 

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  • John

    Well put, thank you.

  • Brad Isherwood

    US has to figure a way to rescue the dying USD $ oil dollar.

    What are their options ?

    • Nexusfast123

      Their only option they have is to continue to kick the debt can down the road and create more debt but this has an end point. They are trapped by this growing mountain of debt. All empires end when their currency collapses.

      • BMWA1

        In the end, devaluation (monetization) at a major or even radical level. Self-sufficiency is a major issue here, if re-insudtrialization and energy search is successful in the domestic context it will not be so bad (cf. recent Russian economy). If these efforts are not successful, then it could be catastrophic (as in Russia in the 90s).

      • Brad Isherwood

        The US appears trapped in the British Empire play of keeping Germany and Russia apart,
        And then each economically weakened.
        Eurasia Silk Roads offers Corporations and nations vast opportunity.
        US having bombed and bullied it’s way from Vietnam to Libya now faces the decades March of its crimes.
        Israel is probably terrified. …knowing that the US is faltering and on the outside of
        The emerging Future.

        US attacking nations and stealing their gold.
        Miserable House of Saud could be next. …..and maybe the last.

  • Douglas Houck

    The statements by Tillerson that I found most telling was he hadn’t discussed Russia with The Donald yet. That means everything he said was his personal opinion and means little. He’s trying to get confirmed, that’s all. Stay tuned.

    • oliver

      Agree. We schould listen to what they are saying, but count on what they really are doing…

  • tehila sunshine

    There is a coup going on people, pray against the war they are trying to start. Not trump, but his enemies

  • Ace

    You are too pessimistic.

    I believe Trump understands that nothing is a given in matters involving dealing with Russia but he also appears to not accept that the current anti-Russian hysteria has any rational basis. I know otherwise sensible people who think the fall of the USSR was a deception operation, so help me God. The neocon are worse with their unhinged nail biting about “expansionist” Russia and Putin the KGB “thug.”

    Bottom line, Trump is more interested in finding common ground with the clear headedness of businessman and statesmen than he is in telling Putin to take it or leave it on any matter. Putin is personally impressive and is clearly a patriot. Trump no doubt sees that and respects that.