Trump Goes 180 on Assad; Now Tillerson is Jawboning Putin Over Assad
It’s amazing how literally everything that Trump has now done a 180 on everything he said over five years.
I don’t mean no one in politics ever flipflops, dissembles, or changes their position. That happens and sometimes it can’t be helped.
But to literally do something that you have been diametrically opposed to from 2013 until last Tuesday?
“The President’s decision was familiar for being both spontaneous and confusing. As has happened before, he was apparently inspired to act by what he saw on TV—in this case, distressing images of stricken women and children. Yet, despite having previously seen similarly horrifying pictures, Trump had been skeptical of military action in Syria. In 2013, Assad’s forces attacked civilians and rebels near Damascus with sarin, a banned nerve agent, killing more than a thousand people. Trump advised President Obama, via Twitter, “Do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside.” (Obama had called Assad’s use of chemical arms crossing a “red line,” which might lead the U.S. to take military action, but he did not strike. Instead, Russia helped broker an agreement by which Assad gave up many—but evidently not all—of his chemical arms.)”
I’ve already gone over what I think of Trump’s ‘big ole heart’-the only suffering that bothered him was the suffering of his poll numbers:
No one is going to convince me that the real change here is politics. Same thing with Rex Tillerson’s suddenly getting tough with Putin, his old selfie buddy:
“Officials in the Trump administration on Sunday demanded that Russia stop supporting the Syrian government or face a further deterioration in its relations with the United States.”
“Signaling the focus of talks that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to have in Moscow this week, officials said that Russia, in propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, bears at least partial responsibility for Wednesday’s chemical attack on villagers in Idlib province.”
“I hope Russia is thinking carefully about its continued alliance with Bashar al-Assad, because every time one of these horrific attacks occurs, it draws Russia closer into some level of responsibility,” Tillerson said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“In advance of Tillerson’s arrival, the Kremlin said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had no plans to meet with the secretary of state.”
“We have not announced any meetings. A meeting with Tillerson is currently not on the president’s schedule,” Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters.
So Putin won’t be meeting with his dearest American friend?
Russia had such high hopes for Trump:
“The Russians had hoped that relations with the United States might improve under President Trump, who expressed admiration for Putin during the campaign. Tillerson’s nomination and confirmation as secretary of state also raised prospects. given the former ExxonMobil executive’s experience negotiating a major deal with Rosneft, the state-controlled oil giant.”
“But 11 weeks into Trump’s presidency, expectations have been substantially lowered.”
“This is a big cold shower,” said Samuel Charap, a Russia analyst with the Rand Corp. “Even if behind closed doors they might engage on other issues in a more pragmatic manner, the public posture is going to be one of emphasizing how they disagree about [Syria]. Putin is not going to want to be seen as chummy with the U.S. secretary of state.”
As for those who think this proves Russia and Trump didn’t collude, remember Richard Nixon screwed Anna Chennault in 1969 as well after she helped him kill LBJ’s peace talks.
And who knows how much of this is show? Based on the very serious charges, Trump can hardly be Putin’s buddy in public anymore. They used to complete each other’s sentences. That’s over.
Still, you get the sense that they’re still trying to work on Erik Prince’s deal.
Several analysts said that Assad has humiliated Putin by using chemical weapons despite Russia’s guarantee that Syria’s stockpiles would be whisked away. Moscow’s interest in getting sanctions eased is greater than its loyalty to Assad. And that could provide maneuvering room for Tillerson.”
The King of Jordan broached the subject just on Thursday:
King Abdullah: Compromise with Russia on Crimea to get its help in Syria.”
Remember that was Erik Prince’s move in his meeting with the UAE back in February.
At the end of the day, Obama’s Russian Ambassador reminds us to keep our eye on the ball:
Russia violated our sovereignty, interfered in our elections & maybe coordinated with Americans in doing so. Stay focused on the big stuff !
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) April 8, 2017
That’s what all this is really meant to stop us from doing.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will