Mel Gurtov: So here we are evidently back to the future as the Trump administration forges ahead with nuclear “modernization,” without a set strategy for the weapons but with billions of dollars to burn.
Mel Gurtov: Is it really necessary to buy into Bannon’s self-description as a “barbarian” or his promise to “crush the opposition”?
Mel Gurtov: Donald Trump quite simply is doing what comes naturally—being the authoritarian figure who gives orders, expects them to be followed, consults no one, demands absolute loyalty—and in the end increases the wealth of Trump Inc.
Mel Gurtov: Kushner, like his father-in-law, seems incapable of telling the truth about either the full extent of his financial empire or the extent of his contacts with foreigners—Russians especially—whose interests are intertwined with his own.
With the revelation this week that Donald Trump, Jr. leaped at the opportunity to find some dirt on Hillary Clinton, we have our first clear idea of what his father is hiding concerning the Russia connection.
Mel Gurtov: Maintaining the US embargo is also highly unlikely to ease Cuban restrictions on human rights, and making the latter a condition for easing the former is sure to arouse official Cuban anger.
Mel Gurtov: Kushner’s purpose, supported by Donald Trump, was to begin redrawing US policy on Russia with the aim of easing sanctions in exchange for certain Russian “services.”
Rather than reaffirm the US commitment to NATO’s collective-security principle, as its ministers had expected, Trump offered a lukewarm promise “never to forsake” America’s friends. Forgive them if they feel forsaken.
Expect the Trump administration to proclaim that it has effectively overridden Saudi Arabia’s estrangement from the US during the Obama years.
Trump’s clear obstruction of justice may be the tipping point for Republican leaders who see no way that a conservative social and economic agenda can be achieved with Trump in office.
What North Korea wants is the legitimacy that comes from diplomatic recognition and assurances of regime survival, along with a peace treaty that ends the Korean War and paves the way for economic aid from the US, South Korea, Japan, and others.
Trump is grasping for straws—anything that will lead the media and investigators away from the Russia matter, all the more so now that Jared Kushner’s meeting with the representative of a sanctioned Russian bank has become known.
Mel Gurtov: News of actual events—hurricanes, floods, drought, sharp temperature changes, and other distortions in weather patterns in the US and around the world—typically are being crowded out by Trump’s tantrums, fake news, and conflicts of interest.