Donald Trump seems to be doing everything he can to hasten the day on which he will be impeached or otherwise removed from office.
Jennifer Rubin, “They could have Pence as president, for heaven’s sake,” Washington Post, August 11, 2017 (12:00 PM).
Michael McFaul, “Trump’s weakness against Putin is on display — again,” Washington Post, August 11, 2017 (2:47 PM).
Just this week, the American madman president threatened the North Korean madman president in a manner which evoked the use of nuclear weapons.
Also this week, he responded in a press conference in a flippant manner to a question about the Russian expulsion of 755 U.S. diplomatic staff, in retaliation for Barack Obama’s seizure of two diplomatic properties and expulsion of 35 Russian spies in December, 2016. Trump did not mention the Russian intervention in the U.S. election in 2016, and didn’t explain that the December expulsions and other measures were in response to the Russian intervention.
Barack Obama may have made a mistake by seizing Russian properties and expelling Russian diplomats in December 2016, instead of adopting real economic sanctions with a sharp bite proportional to the gravity of Russia’s intervention and its gross violation of the international law principle prohibiting intervention in the domestic affairs of another state. Diplomatic tit-for-tat could be expected from the Russians, while Obama’s measures did not reference the international law principle of non-intervention.
Had Obama invoked the international law principle of non-intervention and adopted economic sanctions characterized as lawful “countermeasures” under international law, the focus would have been on the U.S. demand for Russia to cease its violations of international law. That would have offered Russia an incentive for ceasing its intervention activities. This, however, did not occur.
In the present case, had the the point been emphasized that the December “sanctions” against Russia were wholly justified under international law as “countermeasures”, and not merely actions any state is free to take (known as “retorsions”), the wholly unjustified nature of the Russian expulsions of U.S. diplomatic staff would be glaringly evident. In fact, Trump could still characterize those actions as countermeasures, if that is he accepted the fact that the Russians had intervened in our election.
The fact that Donald Trump does not acknowledge that intervention, and that he has initiated no retaliation against Russia for its expulsions of 755 American diplomats, is inexplicable in itself.
His failure to ever criticize Putin or Russia, to ever admit the validity of U.S. intelligence agencies’ finding that Russia intervened massively in the 2016 election, and now to take retaliatory steps against Russia for its wholly unjustified expulsion of American diplomatic personnel, adds further strong evidence for the proposition that Trump is under the power of Putin and the Russians, and that he is in effect controlled by them when it comes to anything involving U.S.-Russian relations.
The Trenchant Observer