Trump Era

One Bomb a Day Keeps the Russians Away

By Andrej Mrevlje |
American B-52 bomber.(Reuters /DarrenStaples) / Reuters

In the beginning, there were tweets. President Trump used them as the smokescreen bombs, cover-ups for other, hidden actions, distractions from indecisive ignorance. The tweets kept the media busy for a while, sensational, outrageous as they were. But when the President dropped the tweet accusing his democratic predecessor, President Obama, of spying on him, Trump unintentionally called upon the intelligence agencies to investigate his serious claim, and the American public to doubt, then altogether deny, his credibility. His tweets have taken on a more trivial significance since. Then there were White House cover-up operations to distract public opinion that were straightforward pathetic; people surrounding the President came under scrutiny for the alleged secret communications and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russians, and the inner circle got smaller, tightening around Jared Kushner, the prodigious son-in-law of the president.

It was at that point that President Trump ordered a massive attack on the airbase in Syria, a response to the sarin bomb attack Bashar al-Assad approved on his inert opposition. Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles is a lot of firepower, even for an exuberant President. The dust of the bombing hardly settled, talks with Moscow just short of reaching fever pitch, when the White House dropped a 22-thousand-pound bomb on Afghanistan.

Called “the mother of all bombs” by a military official, it is the biggest non-nuclear bomb the US has ever dropped in combat, a shock and awe bomb built with the purpose to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight. The U.S. Army used it to attack the underground corridors and caves ISIS uses in the remote, mountainous areas of Afghanistan. This at least is what we were told, while many of the questions related to this latest presidential bravura remain unanswered. President Trump denied parenthood, hinting that it was a commander in the field who decided to use the big monster, though stating his support emphatically. Non c’è due senza tre is an old Italian saying that in this case, I take to suggest that the President might be ready to drop a third bomb, this time the destination being North Korea.

The American public is bracing for it. The TV networks have the experts and maps in the place; just yesterday NBC News leaked the information that the U.S. is getting ready to launch a preemptive strike that might stop North Korean leader from his intention to celebrate his grandfather’s 105 year anniversary with a launch of another missile or even attack. The news was later denied and hushed. Perhaps also because of the strong warning coming from Beijing, calling on all parties to quell the tension over North Korea before it reaches an “irreversible and unmanageable stage.”

An attack on North Korea, preventative or not, would be a disaster for the world, but would certainly allow Trump to stay in the White House and keep Russian affairs at bay. This, of course, is a very cynical observation, or perhaps a logical one reflective of the insanity this world has already reached. The bombs the U.S. are firing around the world have improved President Trump’s rating at home, while none of the military actions seem to have any strategy behind them. What is next, those who are not on the same page as the President wonder.

Parallel to this apparent, adventurous war-mongering is the news that intelligence is getting closer to proof of a collusion in the Trump campaign with the Russian government (Britain has just announced that it recorded conversations and is handing them over to the State Department). As said earlier, the Syria bombing–without judging whether it was necessary and useful–opened a new, very publicly staged confrontation between Washington and Moscow. There has been too much claptrap about the new low in American-Russian relations for all of it to be true, but there are definitely big egos at play.  

Watching the press conference between Rex Tillerson and Sergey Lavrov that took place four hours after talks that for two hours included Vladimir Putin, one could not help but notice the red faces of the two ministers. They rarely looked at each other, and the loquacious Lavrov seemed a bit in trouble. The red faces could suggest the anger of the two sides, but maybe the color of their faces was due to a glass of to vodka too many. Do people who are angry together drink together?

There is no information coming from American side that would explain better what happened in Moscow. Not to mention Syria. Except for this little presidential tweet from yesterday:

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump Apr 13

“Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!”

I have no doubt that there’s a dialog between Moscow and Washington. I do not see an angry exchange, but a lot of repositioning. Now that the two sides are upset, public opinion seems to be forgetting its suspicion that this president made it to the White House with the help of his Russian pal. Russia and the U.S. are not strategic partners and most probably will never be, but what if the 45th President will be called to pay back the favors he received from Moscow during the elections? Until this question is explicitly asked and answered, this president cannot be fully trusted.
There are a whole lot of people in pursuit of this goal. Many of them are active on social networks that, like this thread, discuss how Wikileaks became subservient to the Russian government, and how Trump’s campaign was using Assange’s services during the campaign. One should read and ponder this repositioning very carefully when the CIA boss, appointed by the President, pointed his finger at Wikileaks that biggest, most critical leverage of Trump’s victory.  

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