Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 28.06.2018
Donald Trump is a compromised asset of Russia’s intelligence services. Trump will never acknowledge that Russia is invading Ukraine. Trump will never say that the unprovoked war which Russia launched against Ukraine is wrong, and he won’t do anything to make it stop. Trump will never tell Putin to get out of Crimea and Donbas. Like Putin, Trump will never allow that the Ukrainian people have agency, can choose a path for their own nation, and can decide for themselves to live in a free and democratic society free of Russian occupation within internationally recognized borders.
Furthermore, Trump is determined to bring dictator Putin “back into the fold” – such as add Russia to the G7. Trump thinks and acts as if rump Muscovy that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union is an equal to the United States of America. Trump is planning a summit with Putin, and sent his “sherpa” John Bolton to Moscow to prepare the ground for a Grand Appeasement. Back in Washington, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Moscow’s return to the international community of nations was “inevitable.”
In order to appease Russia, Team Trump must overlook the following: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea; Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine in Donbas; Russia killing American medic Joseph Stone with a roadside bomb in occupied Donbas; Russia’s abduction, torture, and hostage-taking of over 70 Ukrainian political prisoners of war; Russia’s violation of the Minsk Agreement; Russia shooting down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17; Russia helping the Assad regime in Syria attack civilians with chemical weapons; the Russian air force bombing hospitals and other civilian infrastructure in Syria; Russia attacking with a nerve agent in Salisbury, England; and Russia falsifying the result of the 2016 US presidential election.
Trump appeasement of Russia can only succeed if Putin’s war of imperial conquest against Ukraine is completely ignored. Thus, John Bolton said in Moscow that “the US does not recognize the annexation of Crimea” (an astonishingly weak statement) but he did not say that Crimea is Ukraine.
Trump has already given Putin something for nothing. Trump offered a summit where he would treat Putin as an equal, even though the ex-KGB man is little more than a crime boss of a regional power. Trump has normalized Russia without requiring Russia to lessen its war against Ukraine. Trump has weakened Ukrainian sovereignty by agreeing to talk about Ukraine with Putin – the leader of Muscovy which is invading Ukraine – without talking to Ukrainians themselves.
Everything Trump does is in the interest of fascist Russia. That puts him opposed to the interests of democratic Ukraine and the democratic USA. Everything Team Trump is saying these days in the lead-up to the Appeasement Summit is language that had previously been used by the Kremlin. Four years of careful international effort to get Russia to stop its aggression is being wrecked. Four years of heroic struggle by the Ukrainian people to defend their homeland, defend Europe, and defend the West from Russia’s war of imperialist aggression is being forsaken.
Giving up something and gaining nothing: that is the essence of “Deal-maker” Trump. The United States has the most powerful military and the most powerful economy that has ever been seen in human history. But Trump, the nominal leader of that great nation, is irredeemably weak when it comes to Russia. Trump is incapable of saying to Putin: “Get out of Ukraine!” Trump has no clue how to use US power to get a pissant regional power like Russia to leave Crimea and leave Donbas. He also has no inclination to do so, in any case.
The one beacon of hope in the Appeasement Summit disaster is that it is grounded in the nonsense of geopolitical theory. Geopolitics ignores the human factor, and that is its fatal flaw. Because the fact is that the Ukrainian people have agency. Ukrainians think and speak and act, and they have set a course for their own nation. Ukrainians chose a European and democratic path for themselves with the Revolution of Dignity. Ukrainians choose to fight for their sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian invaders. Crimea and Donbas will return to Ukraine because they are Ukraine. Dictators like Putin and Useful Idiots like Trump come and go, but the civil society of the Ukrainian nation has existed for over a millennium and is thriving today.
Ukraine will survive the Appeasement Summit. Regardless of what is said by Putin and his Useful Idiot Trump, Ukraine will never stop fighting for its land and its people. The United States, on the other hand, is diminished as a world power for every day that Trump is in power and is acting on his abiding loyalty to Russia. Americans ignored the lessons learned by generations of Ukrainians resisting Russian domination, and the US polity is suffering now for that ignorance.
The Appeasement Summit will give Russia an enormous propaganda victory but not win the military victory against Ukraine that Putin so desperately needs. Ukraine will defend itself, as always. The United States will suffer a tremendous blow to its prestige, influence, and power. All this is happening because the United States did not stop Russia from invading Ukraine in February-March 2014 when it could have done so, and the US did not stop Russia from falsifying the US election in 2016.
As the Americans say: Buckle Up!