Trump Folds at G-20 on Everything

I knew there was something wrong with Donald Trump’s presidency the day he bombed the airbase at Al-Shairat in Syria.  It was a turning point.  I knew it was a mistake the moment he did it and argued as such at the time.

No act by him was more contentious.

It cost me hundreds of followers gained throughout the campaign who wanted to believe Trump was playing 4-D chess.  My Periscopes went from being events to afterthoughts.

Those that left needed to believe this because they had invested so much in him.

They had to believe he was playing some deep game with Putin to bring peace to the region.

He wasn’t.

I was right and truth is painful.  The need for him to be Orange Jesus was so strong they created Qanon and the ‘science’ of political horoscope as slowly but surely Trump was stripped of all of his power except that of complaining about how unfair it all is.

That day he did something in the moment, with bad intelligence and let fly with tomahawks which Russian and Syrian air defenses misdirected and/or shot down.

Empty President

His goal was to show everyone there was a new, strong sheriff in town.

All it did was weaken him.

The neocons praised him as presidential.  They began to get their hooks in him then.  But truly, Trump was destroyed before he took office, giving up Michael Flynn, expelling Russian diplomats and compromising his cabinet picks.

Because making war is the only true test of a President to the laptop bombardiers who control foreign policy.  With that one act Trump’s days as an independent agent in D.C. were numbered.

And since then the hope has been that given the enormity of the opposition to his Presidency he was still fighting for what he campaigned on — no nation building, bring the empire home, protect the borders, and clean up the corruption.

He’s made a few minor changes but not enough to change the course of this country and, by extension, the world.

The people want this change.  Those with the power don’t.

G-20 Ghost

So here we are with a pathetic Trump outclassed at the G-20, a meeting he should dominate but instead is ushered around like a child, given poor earpieces and looking a little lost.  He’s only allowed to have one meeting of note by his handlers, with China’s Xi Jinping.

Because that meeting wasn’t going to end with anything damaging to the long-term plan.  Trump’s tariff game is tired and all it will do is hasten the demise of U.S. competitiveness in the very industries he wants us to be competitive in.

Because tariffs are a band-aid on the real problems of bureaucracy, corruption, waste and sloth within an economy.  They are not a product of China stealing our technology (though they have).

And that $1 trillion deficit Trump is running?  Music to the ears of the globalists who want the U.S. brought low. More military spending.  More boondoggles the banks can cut a nice big check to themselves for with funny money printed without risk. This can go on for a few more years until it doesn’t matter anymore.

Trump’s folding on meeting Putin is the final nail in his presidency’s coffin.  He’s not even allowed to make statements on this issue anymore.  That’s for Sarah Sanders, Mike Pomposity and John Bolt-head to do.

You know, the grown-ups in the room.

No.  Putin and Trump met once when they weren’t supposed to and since then Trump has been getting smaller and smaller.  Sure, he held some rallies for the mid-terms to shore up his base for a few weeks while the Democrats stole more than a dozen House seats, three governorships and a couple of Senate seats, but hey he’s still working hard for no pay.

Please.

Trump needed to show some real moral courage and speak with Putin about the Kerch Strait incident like men, not sulk in the corner over a couple of ships. And yet his still throws his full support behind a butcher like Mohammed bin Salman because arms sales and Iran.

Putin, for his part, makes no bones about doing business with the Saudis.  He knows that bin Salman is creating a quagmire for Trump while driving the U.S. and European Deep State mad.

Hence:

Putin refuses to apologize for thwarting our plans to overthrow him in Russia and steal Ukraine.

Time Enough to Win

For this Secretary of Defense James Mattis calls Putin, “A slow learner.”  This is a flat-out threat that Mattis has more coming Putin’s way.  But in fact, it is Mattis who is the slow learner since he still thinks Putin isn’t three steps ahead of him.

Which he is.

The game is all about time and money.  And thanks to Mattis and, yes, Trump, Putin will win the war of attrition he is playing.

Because that is what has been going on here from the beginning.  Iran, China and Russia know what the U.S. power brokers want and they knew Trump would always cave to them.  So, they knew exactly how to get Trump to over-commit to a strategy that cannot and will not ever come to fruition.

I warned that Trump’s blind-spot when it comes to Iran was his weakness.  I warned that he would eventually justify breaking every foreign policy promise to fulfill his plan to unite the Sunni world behind him and Israel by giving them Iran.

The End of the Beginning

Welcome to today.

And welcome to the end of Trump’s presidency because now he is pot-committed to regime change while the vultures circle him domestically.   He has become Bush the Lesser with arguably better hair.

He has alienated everyone the world over with sanctions and tariffs, hence his desire to “Get me out of here” as the G-20 wound down.  No one believes he matters anymore.  By tying himself to the Saudis and the Israelis the way he has he, the master negotiator, has left himself no room to negotiate.

And that is leading to everyone defying him versus cutting deals to carve up the world, end the empire and come home.

Trump is not leading here.  He is being led.  And change requires leaders.  He has been led down the path so many presidents have, more militarism, more empire.  Because when you’re the Emperor everyone is your enemy.  This is the paranoia of a late-stage imperial mindset.

It certainly is the mindset of Trump’s closest advisors — Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo.

So Trump’s “America First’ instincts, no matter how genuine, have been twisted into something worse than evil, they are now ineffectual keepers of the status quo fueling ruinous neoconservative dreams of central Asian dominance.

And he has no one to blame but himself.


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21 thoughts on “Trump Folds at G-20 on Everything

  1. Pingback: Contra Corner » The Empty President: The Donald’s Folds On Everything At G-20

  2. I am really glad I listened to the short-news video and didn’t rely on the article. If you can edit the article before it gets to strategic-culture, a suggestion: please scratch the sentence that says “Trump needed to show some real moral courage and speak with Putin about the Kerch Strait incident like men, not sulk in the corner over a couple of ships,” and just say what you say in the video: c’mon, Trump knows it was just a provocation. I doubt you want to keep that sentence as it stands now: the implication is all wrong, Trump shoulda got tough with Putin. Hell no, Trump shoulda got some third-tier State Department bozo to call Poroshenko to tell him, “Just to let you know Porky, we don’t play the Atlantic Council / MI-6 game, so watch out… just a heads-up, ok?” Otherwise, the best thing to say in public about the Kerch Bridge is… don’t say anything. Let Angela Merkel handle it… ha! She won’t, she can’t, she’s irrelevant, but it is good to give her a job so she can fail at it. Europe wants to be “independent”? Good, then prove it, prove you can be useful on your own, Europe.

    Basically the same goes for the Saudi-case. MBS is a butcher? I doubt you want to play it that way. At this point MBS is manifesting more political savvy than Trump. – Now, had I been in Trump’s shoes, I would have milked the WaPo “leak“ about the CIA report on Khashoggi to the hilt. “Hey, people, look at this: the WaPo got fat and lazy, they leak and leak like an incontinent elephant, they used to like to leak from the CIA. Well, I’ll tell you, I read the report, I know the report, and the WaPo is … no surprise, huh? Fake news. So get off my back. There is much more at stake here than business and money, and I am responsible for it, not the WaPO… and not the CIA.” Even on the simple things, I agree with you: I miss the bite, real bite when it wouldn’t cost anything.

    “Putin, for his part, makes no bones about doing business with the Saudis. He knows that bin Salman is creating a quagmire for Trump while driving the U.S. and European Deep State mad.” – Here you seem to pin your analysis on the idea that Putin is playing with MBS because he knows it drives the Deep State mad. Well, no. That’s not Putin’s level of the game. Let’s turn that on its head. Putin, Trump and MBS know that the Deep State has played its cards. More is out in the open now than before. Good. From an operational intelligence standpoint, very good. Putin and MBS are going to do what they are going to do, but not because of the Deep State, but because of a far longer-term strategic and historical understanding. On that count MBS and Putin are 12 steps ahead of the Deep State. The Deep State is supposed to have “intelligence” on this stuff, and they don’t. Are we surprised? Since when did these people believe they had to be intelligent? If Trump can do something useful on that score, very good; if not, the “US” as Deep State is irrelevant, or as you aptly put it, inconsequential. Tell that to Trump: the more he masquerades as Deep State BS, the more inconsequential he is.

    Actually, Trump’s weak points are operational-tactical. He could be scoring easily, but he doesn’t. For example, he could explain the Helsinki meeting to people, the one that should not have happened. “Look people, the truth is that I have an agreement with the President of Russia that we mutually assure the security of Israel. Israel cannot do it alone, and neither of us can do it alone, but we will work with partners and new partners in the region to come out of this mess in the Middle East and humanity will sign a sigh of relief and rejoice.” Putin openly said that was the agreement, why can’t Trump just say it? – What friggin “optics” is he afraid of? Or could it be he doesn’t know what he agreed to?

    Go ahead, Donald, admit it finally: Yes, you are “colluding” with Putin, because it is the interests of the US to do so…, and because you have no other choice.

  3. Alas! I agree with you on everything!
    I will keep supporting Trump, however, and this for the following reasons.
    – He is still better than Hillary or any other Deep State shill.
    – If he had fought the Swamp head on, he would have been impeached, or killed like JFK.
    – He is probably still playing 4D chess, even if he loses many games.
    – He DID deliver by getting out of the Paris Agreement, and he can still deliver on the Wall.
    – He can still stop WW3 from happening, God willing.

    • Mark,

      I too won’t stop supporting him but, alas, I cannot hide my thoughts on the subject either. I still have to call ’em like I see ’em. It’s not a pleasant thing to do nor is it something I relish.

      But, I’ve been asking for this guy to give us something to work with now for the past six months and he hasn’t. Tweets and trolling comments aren’t enough. Refusing to go away still holds some value but at this point I have to agree with Jim Jatras, they’re laughing at him now… they are no longer scared of him.

      • I would gauge things on the basis of getting things done. Nothing is ever accomplished in an instant or vacuum, especially in politics. He flubbed Afghanistan and deferred the decision, granted, yet we hear about negotiations.( whether anything develops ?) I believe there’s so much that needs to be dismantled ( how do you dismantle something 60 to 70 years in the making ?) that one can not possibly attack everything at once. The strategy seems to be one of picking his battles and exposure. Currently his biggest battle is Mueller and the Swamp, they have him hamstrung. As you rightly point out. They think they have him, and that affords the laughter. He has to act in a serious consequential manner to change this. It seems that the Clinton’s, Obama’s ruled by blackmail and threats. Trump needs to either start hammering his antagonist or step aside, because it won’t get better or easier. Although from a political stand point you couldn’t ask for a better foil then Pelosi.

        As you’ve pointed out as well as others, Trump is a person in search of leverage. Where he sees none, nor has leverage, he attempts to create it. (Sometimes it backfires or doesn’t develop in which case you cut your losses) His management style is to give people the freedom to accomplish tasks within a certain timeframe and terminate them if they fail. I believe the two main issues are his impatience and the publics. The political cycles of elections exacerbate issues ( as does the internet ) and urgency where there is none. Something to think about ?

  4. Right: Moving fast enough on US demands = surrendering to them. Not happening, not gonna. Time wounds all heels.

    Well done Tom.

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