“trump’s cuddling of putin” says barry grey ironically at the end

Trump-Putin meeting deepens divisions in establishment on Russia policy
Barry Grey, WSWS, Jul 8 2017

Trump and Putin met for more than two hours Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, amid the growing threat of a military clash between the world’s two biggest nuclear powers, whether in Syria or Eastern Europe. After the meeting, which lasted far longer than the half-hour that had been planned, Tillerson and Lavrov in separate statements announced an agreement on a ceasefire and establishment of a so-called “de-escalation zone” in south-western Syria. Lavrov said the ceasefire was set to take effect at noon Damascus time on Jul 9. Tillerson called it a “defined agreement” and added that the two leaders had a “lengthy discussion of other areas in Syria where we can work together.” At a joint press conference with Japanese PM Abe following his meeting with Trump, Putin said other topics the two discussed included Ukraine, cyber-security and fighting terrorism. On NK, Tillerson acknowledged there was no agreement, telling reporters:

The Russians see it a little differently than we do, so we’re going to continue those discussions and ask them to do more.

But he described Trump and Putin as having “positive chemistry” in their first meeting, and said their discussions had been “very constructive.” He said that Trump opened the meeting by raising the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 Pindosi election. Trump, he said, returned to the question several times and pressed it “robustly.” But after Putin repeated his previous denials of any Russian meddling, the two agreed to move on. Tillerson said:

I think what the two presidents, I think rightly, focused on is how do we move forward.

This outcome of the meeting, upon which the Pindo media has been fixated for days, will only exacerbate the political warfare within the Pindo ruling class and state over policy toward Russia. The internecine conflict that has been raging for nearly a year is centered on divergent but equally reactionary and war-mongering positions on imperialist policy. Trump speaks for a faction that wants to wean Russia away from China and Iran in order to focus aggression on China. His opponents, the dominant sections of the intelligence apparatus, in alliance with the Demagog Party and a section of the Thugs, want to escalate the confrontation with Russia in both Syria and Eastern Europe. It sees neutralizing Russia as an essential precondition for settling accounts with Pindosi imperialism’s most serious rival, China. The Demagogs, working hand in glove with the CIA, have been conducting an hysterical campaign on the basis of concocted allegations that the Russian government intervened in the Pindosi election in favor of Trump, whose campaign supposedly colluded with Moscow. An indication of its response to Friday’s meeting between Trump and Putin was provided by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, who called the meeting “disgraceful” and said in a statement:

Pres Trump had an obligation to bring up Russia’s interference in our election with Putin, but he has an equal obligation to take the word of our Intelligence Community rather than that of the Russian president.

Nicholas Kristof, whose specialty on the NYT editorial board is authoring propaganda pieces that seek to cloak imperialist wars in the garb of “human rights,” published a McCarthyite-style column following the meeting that began with a grab bag of long-standing but unsubstantiated allegations against Putin:

In Hamburg, Pres Trump is thundering against the free press that covers him, while getting lovey-dovey with the leader of a country that attacked Pindosi and French elections, that invaded Ukraine, that helped slaughter civilians in Syria, that was involved in shooting down a civilian airliner over Ukraine, that murders critics, and that brutalizes gay people in Chechnya.

The renewed frenzy in the media and among Democrats directed against Trump’s supposed “softness” toward Russia (and Assad) actually began on Thursday, following Trump’s joint press conference in Warsaw with Poland’s Pres Duda. While Trump’s subsequent speech at the monument to the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 against German occupation, a fascist rant that presented Islam as a threat to Western civilization and praised god, country and the “will to survive,” received generally positive reviews in the Pindosi media, Trump’s press conference was roundly condemned because Trump again questioned the claims of the intelligence agencies, which asserted without any factual substantiation that the Russian government had hacked the emails of the Demagog Party and the Clinton campaign and leaked damaging information to WikiLeaks in order to tip the election toward Trump. In response to a question from NBC correspondent Hallie Jackson, Trump said:

I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows.

But what particularly enraged the White House’s establishment critics was the fact that Trump raised the example of the false intelligence reports on Iraqi WMDs that were used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq. This prompted a parade of Demagogs and media pundits to appear on the cable news networks on Thursday denouncing Trump for “undermining” the Pindosi intelligence agencies while on foreign soil. Adam Schiff, the ranking Demagog on the House Intelligence Committee, declared:

The president’s comments today, again casting doubt on whether Russia was behind the blatant interference in our election and suggesting, his own intelligence agencies to the contrary, that nobody really knows, continue to directly undermine Pindosi interests.

CNN interviewed former DNI Clapper, who said the intelligence agencies “saw no evidence whatsoever that it was anyone involved in this other than the Russians.” Clapper denounced Trump for failing to take a hard line on Russia, saying it encouraged Putin to “keep doing what he’s doing.” CNN published an article Thursday, timed for the eve of Trump’s meeting with Putin, headlined “Russia steps up spying efforts after election.” The article, in typical fashion, cited “current and former” Pindo boxtops, unnamed with one exception, who made vague assertions about increased Russian spying that were not only devoid of substantiation but lacking in specific facts. This obviously planted propaganda piece argued for a more aggressive policy toward Russia, hinting at military action. CNN wrote:

The officials say they believe one of the biggest Pindo adversaries feels emboldened by the lack of a significant retaliatory response from both the Trump and Obama administrations.

This article was cited throughout the day as authoritative proof that Trump’s coddling of Putin was threatening “Pindosi democracy” and undermining Pindosi interests around the world.

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