Moon of Alabama — April 11, 2018
Donald Trump may perceive these bad cop/good cop tweets as a serious way to negotiate with Russia. They ain’t.
Donald J. Trump – @realDonaldTrump – 10:57 AM UTC – 11 Apr 2018
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
Donald J. Trump – @realDonaldTrump – 11:37 AM UTC – 11 Apr 2018
Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?
Russia said it would destroy the platforms that launch the missiles, not only the missiles themselves. Did nobody explain the difference to Trump?
There is a reason that U.S. relations with Russia are now worse than they have been for some time and Russia is not responsible for these. The GW Bush administration killed the Anti-Ballistic-Missile treaty which guaranteed Mutually Assured Destruction and thus strategic stability. The Obama administration launched a trillion dollar program to ramp up U.S. nuclear capabilities and ballistic missile defense with the aim of achieving superiority in a nuclear conflict.
It is cynical to say that “Russia needs us to help with their economy”. The U.S. under Trump is waging economic war on Russia by implementing more and more economic sanctions. The last round on Friday targeted Russian industrialists, many of whom are not even aligned with Putin. Aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, disliked in the Kremlin, lost 15% of his fortune. The Rubel plummeted against the dollar for two days in a row. U.S. Treasury stooges are now traveling in Europe to press European banks to shut down all services for Russian companies.
(Ironically both economic attack vectors will help Putin’s program. Since 2014 Russia has been pressing its oligarchs to repatriate the billions the stashed in ‘western’ offshore banks. They will now do so out of fear of confiscations. The lower Rubel will increase local production and allow for cheaper exports.)
The U.S. incited Georgia to attack Russia. It ‘regime changed’ the Ukraine. It attacks Syria, an old Russian ally. Then there are the hoaxes that get attributed to Russia without any evidence. Russia did not influence the U.S. election. It did not poison the Skripals. There was no ‘chemical attack’ in Douma.
Russia has all kinds of reasons to be hostile to the U.S. but always stays calm and well mannered. It is stupid to mistake that for fear or inferiority. Taunting Russia like Trump now does will only increase its resistance to U.S. moves.
Is Trump trying to make an offer to really help Russia’s economy and to stop the arms race?
If Russia would roll over and give up on Syria would Trump really lift the sanctions? Would he really stop the U.S. race for nuclear supremacy? Could he even promise to do such? And why would anyone believe Trump anyway?
Unlike western European countries, Russia is not led by yapping poodles. The Russian government and its people will not roll over. They have historically never done so. President Putin will start his period of governance on May 7 with a war cabinet structured and manned for conflict. He expects a long fight.
Russia will have to respond to any U.S. strike on Syria. It needs to do so to keep face and the faith of its allies. But it also needs to so in a way that avoids further escalation. Something that is very strong, in a different theater and not attributable? Or something that is openly targeting U.S. interests, but not U.S. soldiers, in the Middle East?
It is Israel which is behind the war on Syria and which is pressing for further conflict. There are one million Russians in Israel, many of whom are not even Jewish. Could Russia ask them for help to change the strategic picture? Or should it increase support for those who directly fight the Zionist state?