Trump Co-opted to Stay Hardline on Russia

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Trump Co-opted to Stay Hardline on Russia
by Stephen Lendman
After a few weeks in office, Trump abandoned notions of improved ties with Russia.
Putting Russophobes in charge of defense, national and homeland security dashed hopes for better relations.
The reported upcoming appointment of Russophobe Fiona Hill as White House Director for Europe and Russia provides more evidence.
American geopolitical policy seems like Obama never left. Endless imperial wars rage. The risk of US confrontation with Russia and China remains – by design or accident, nuclear war not off the table as hoped for with Hillary’s defeat.
A ray of good news came from Trump’s mid-February press conference, debunking media reports on Russia as “fabricated fake news. It is all fake news,” he said, adding:
“The greatest thing I could do is shoot that (Russian) ship that’s 30 miles offshore right out of the water. Everyone will say, “(o)h, it’s so great. It’s so great. That’s not great.”
Then more, saying a “(n)uclear holocaust would be like no other. They are a very powerful nuclear country and so are we. But if we have a good relationship with Russia, believe me, that is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
Days later, he reportedly told advisers and allies he’d likely shelve plans to cooperate with Moscow in combating terrorism and other national security issues at least temporarily.
It shows in continuing Obama’s wars, escalating conflict in Syria, perhaps intending troop buildups in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, along with sending special forces to Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and perhaps elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa – on the phony pretext of combating terrorism America supports.
On March 3, ABC News said the Pentagon “quietly ordered new commando deployments to the Middle East and North Africa…with the encouragement of President Trump.”
Aboard the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier last week, he said “(w)e’re are going to have very soon the finest equipment in the world.” 
“We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war, and if required to fight war and only do one thing and do you know what that is, win, win, we’re going to start winning again.”
His bluster sounded like a call to arms for increased aggression in multiple theaters, perhaps in new ones.
Last month at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Defense Secretary Mattis said Washington isn’t ready to collaborate with Moscow militarily.
Secretary of State Tillerson said Russia must first stop violence in Ukraine – it has nothing to do with, Tillerson ignoring Moscow’s all-out efforts for diplomatic resolution to nearly three years of Kiev aggression against its own people.
Wrongfully blaming Russia for nonexistent US election hacking persists. On Monday, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer called for an immediate Justice Department investigation into (nonexistent) political interference with ongoing inquiries into (nonexistent) Russian US election hacking, blustering:
“The American people deserve to know if the investigation into Russia’s interference with our election and the administration’s contact with Russian officials has been compromised by political interference.”
He asked DOJ inspector Michael Horowitz to determine if any “misconduct” occurred, along with investigating whether any department staff members “violat(ed) criminal and civil laws.”
Schumer wants witch-hunt inquiries continued – to undermine Trump, bashing Russia relentlessly at the same time, preventing any chance for better relations.
According to Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, “hysteria” rages in Washington. “This is something unbelievable, and I don’t actually think it corresponds with our national interests. I mean both interests of the US and Russia. (It’s) doing a lot of harm to the future of bilateral relations.”
Weeks earlier, he was hopeful for eventual improved ties, saying time is being lost resolving problems of concern to both nations.
After a century of US hostility toward Russia, chances for more normalized bilateral relations seem as distant as ever.
The risk of war between the world’s dominant nuclear powers remains ominously real.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.