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David Axelrod is one of several Trump critics who are comparing the president at Helsinki to Neville Chamberlain at Munich.

putin owns trump

“He just gave aid and comfort to a despot who invaded our elections,” tweeted President Obama's top campaign strategist.

“The only way this analogy holds is if you imagine Chamberlain at Munich denouncing the Royal Air Force and personally leaking to Hitler the secret of radar,” counter-tweeted David Frum, a Republican never-Trumper and senior editor at The Atlantic.

Axelrod and Frum were referring to the infamous Munich agreement of 1938, which capped the Anglo-French appeasement policy toward Hitler before World War II. Desperate to avoid another global conflict, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Premier Édouard Daladier sincerely believed that if they permitted Hitler to take a little, he wouldn’t take a lot.

The mistake was fatal.

In September, 1938, the British and French leaders let Hitler have the mostly German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia in exchange for his promise not to grab any more territory in Europe.

In early 1939, Hitler grabbed the rest of Czechoslovakia and started World War II by invading Poland on September 1, 1939.

Anyway, only Trump—and Putin—know why the president is shamelessly appeasing the Russian dictator. Trump's detractors see sinister, even treasonous, motives.

There is no doubt that Trump's toadying is strengthening Putin in Russia and globally. Trump's sharpest critics say that by cozying with Putin, for whatever reason, the president is, in effect, selling out America.

Critics suspect that he is making millions in ill-gotten gains off Russia, perhaps in cahoots with Putin. Or Putin is blackmailing Trump.

Putin must have the goods on Trump, critics claim—goods so bad that if Putin ratted Trump out, the president would end up impeached for criminal misdeeds or treason or even go to prison.

Putin must have the goods on Trump, critics claim—goods so bad that if Putin ratted Trump out, the president would end up impeached for criminal misdeeds or treason or even go to prison.

What else could explain Trump's fawning behavior but fear of exposure, critics ask? What indeed?

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While Trump's motives are apparently selfish, Chamberlain’s and Daladier’s motives were selfless, if woefully misguided. They believed anything was preferable to a reprise of the bloodiest and most destructive war in history. (World War II was deadlier and even more devastating than World War I.)

The narcissistic Trump ever seeks personal gain, financial or otherwise.

At any rate, irony is lost on Trump. He swaggers and talks tough, but he's Putin's pet poodle who sits up and begs at his master's command.

Trump revels in generals and military might. But he used draft deferments to avoid fighting in Vietnam, the war of his salad days.

In the Oval Office, he has a bust of Winston Churchill, who denounced Chamberlain, his fellow Tory, after Munich: "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."

Churchill, who succeeded the disgraced Chamberlain, led Britain to victory in World War II and became one of the greatest war leaders in history.

Trump, the non-stop panderer to racism, sexism, misogyny, nativism, homophobia, religious bigotry and militarism, is well on the way to become the most disgraced president in U.S. history, even surpassing Richard Nixon.

After Chamberlain went home from Munich, Hitler ridiculed him. "If ever that silly old man comes interfering here again with his umbrella, I'll kick him downstairs and jump on his stomach in front of the photographers," he jeered.

Trump, too, has chosen dishonor, more dishonorably so than Chamberlain. You can bet that back in Moscow, Putin is trashing his whelp to his lackeys—oligarchs, political sycophants and military brass hats.

Even before Air Force One landed in Washington, Trump started catching heat from some GOP bigwigs and other conservatives in and out of government.

John McCain scorched the president in a statement. “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant,” said the Arizona senator, who was captured and suffered for five-and-a-half years as a POW in communist North Vietnam.

Even so, only time will tell how Trump’s most shameless performance yet as Putin’s lapdog will play in Red State America, including Kentucky, where I’ve lived all my 68 years.

Berry Craig

Berry Craig