Mon Mar 5th, 2018 at 09:40:02 PM EST
US and diplomacy from the barrel of a gun with Trump in the White House. Blaming Russia again? Filling the void left by American disinterest, Trump bullying and threats, destroying trade agreements, what does one expect? It was candidate Trump who had no knowledge or interest maintaining the NATO alliance. Europe got the message and is working on its own defence cooperation, based on the EU of the 27. No more expansion into corrupt states like Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Poland. That's causing the failure of the EU to advance an united front.
With Italy no longer in US focus, Russia swoops to fill the void | Irish Times - May 30, 2017 |
President Donald Trump made the most of his short time in Italy. He was treated to a private audience with the pope, met both the country's president and its prime minister in Rome, flew to Sicily for a summit of world leaders and visited US troops at a nearby naval air station.
But as the sudden burst of diplomatic activity subsided with his departure, European and US officials fear a return to the new normal of American inattention as the administration struggles with political turmoil and Russia-related scandals back home.
In Rome Trump left behind an embassy without an
ambassador and forfeited a geopolitical playing field
that Moscow's ambassador in Rome is exploiting
More below the fold ...
All the while Russia is assiduously courting Italy, a country that once had the largest communist party outside the Soviet bloc and that many analysts consider the soft underbelly of the European Union. In Rome Trump left behind an embassy without an ambassador and forfeited a geopolitical playing field that Moscow's ambassador in Rome, Sergei Razov, is exploiting.
A deliberate, gray-haired career diplomat, Razov has been plugging away at building relationships with Italian politicians, organising concerts for Italy's earthquake survivors and visiting Italian regional officials who lament the "unfair" sanctions on Russia - which Moscow dearly wants lifted.
What G-7 Leaders Will Argue About in Sicily | - March 2017 |
U.S. President Donald Trump has shown a disdain for the kind of multilateral trade deals that have been championed by several G-7 members in the past, including the U.S. Blaming such deals for the growing trade deficits in the U.S., the Trump administration has sought to push back against the forces of globalization in favor of a nationalist trade policy out of sync with other G-7 nations.
○ World leaders braced for tough talks with Trump on climate and trade at G20 summit
Remember Trump holding hands with Brexiteer Theresa May, his unflattering remarks over the EU and his affront [NYT] to Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel just succeeded to form a new administration and will lead Europe in close cooperation with France president Macron.
This diary is my reaction to BooMan's fp story today ...
The Left Needs to Focus on Russia
After the election, these same folks argued that the Russia investigation was just a way for Clintonite Democrats to avoid introspection and responsibility for losing to the most ridiculous major party candidate in our country's history. They wanted a reckoning on what went wrong, and some nefarious foreign interference wasn't something they wanted interfering in the conversation.
If we really want to have some introspection and responsibility, it's time for the left as a whole to look at what happened in Italy yesterday and get real. It's true that Italians are feeling overwhelmed with migrants and that the economy is stagnant, which means that there are actual causes for the right-wing populist revival of fascism. But the Five Star Movement, which got the most votes, is a completely Putin-aligned political phenomenon . Putin has been pushing these fascist forces in elections throughout Europe as a way of weakening the European Union and NATO. Helping Trump and hurting Clinton were part of the same overall plan.
It's working strikingly well, at least in part because the left in the West is so slow to recognize the threat. Part of the needed correction is to identify the people who are pushing the Kremlin line either because they're misguided or have some other higher order agenda, or because they actually want to divide and weaken the left. It's easy to identify Roger Stone or Sean Hannity or Alex Jones. It's harder to identify people or sources that we may trust, but shouldn't.