Patching It Up With Putin
President Donald Trump flew off for his first meeting with Vladimir Putin — with instructions from our foreign policy elite that he get into the Russian president’s face over his hacking in the election of 2016.
Hopefully, Trump will ignore these people. For their record of failure is among the reasons Americans elected him to office.
What president, seeking to repair damaged relations with a rival superpower, would begin by reading from an indictment?
President Eisenhower did not begin his summit with Nikita Khrushchev by berating him for crushing the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956 — a more grievous crime then hacking the emails of John Podesta.
President Kennedy did not let Russia’s emplacement of missiles in Cuba in 1962 prevent him from offering an olive branch to Moscow in his widely praised American University address of June 1963.
President Nixon, in first meeting Leonid Brezhnev, did not denounce him for extinguishing the Prague Spring. Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all?
Trump would do better to explore where we can work together, as in ending Syria’s civil war and averting a new war in Korea.
Moreover, when it comes to interference in the internal politics of other nations to bring about “regime change,” understandably, Putin might see himself as more sinned against than sinning.
Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d’etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years.
Consider the behavior of post-Cold War America, after Moscow gave up its empire, pulled all its troops out of Europe, let the USSR dissolve into 15 nations and held out a hand in friendship.
We gathered all the Warsaw Pact nations and three former Russian Federation republics into a NATO alliance targeted at Russia. We put troops, ships and bases into the Baltic on the doorstep of St. Petersburg. We bombed Russia’s old ally Serbia for 78 days, forcing it to surrender its birth province of Kosovo.
Among the failings of America’s post-Cold War foreign policy elites are hubris, arrogance and an utter absence of that greatest of gifts that the gods can give us — “to see ourselves as others see us.”
Can we not see why the Russian people, who saw us as friends in the 1990s, no longer do so, and why Putin, a Russia-First nationalist, has an 80 percent approval rating on the issue of standing up for his country?
Looking about the world today, do we really need any more crises or quarrels? Do we not have enough on our plate? As the Buddhist saying goes, “Do not dwell in the past … concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016. But what was done cannot be undone. And Putin is not going to return Crimea to Kiev, the annexation of which was the most popular action of his long tenure as Russian president.
As D.C.’s immortal Mayor Marion Barry once said to constituents appalled by his latest episode of social misconduct: “Get over it!”
We have other fish to fry.
In Syria and Iraq, where the ISIS caliphate is in its death rattle, Russia and the U.S. both have a vital interest in avoiding any military collision, and in ending the war. This probably means the U.S. demand that Syrian President Assad be removed will have to be shelved.
Consider China. Asked by Trump to squeeze Pyongyang on its nuclear missile program, China increased trade with North Korea 37 percent in the first quarter. The Chinese are now telling us to stop sailing warships within 13 miles of its militarized islets and reefs in a South China Sea that they claim belongs to them, and demanding that we cancel our $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan.
Hong Kong’s 7 million people have been told their democratic rights, secured in Great Britain’s transfer of the island to China, are no longer guaranteed.
Now China is telling us to capitulate to North Korea’s demand for an end to U.S. military maneuvers with South Korea and to remove the THAAD missile system the U.S. has emplaced. And Beijing is imposing sanctions on South Korea for accepting the U.S. missile system.
Meanwhile, the dispute with North Korea is going critical.
If Kim Jong Un is as determined as he appears to be to build an ICBM with a nuclear warhead that can hit Seattle or San Francisco, we will soon be down to either accepting this or exercising a military option that could bring nuclear war.
Trump cannot allow this Beltway obsession with Putin to prevent us from closing, if we can, this breach. If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go?
Putin is an adept power-patter, adding a paternal pat to his shakes with world leaders in a bid to register dominance
Trump, Putin, and the Double-Fisted Handshake
July 7, 2017 By Douglas V. Gibbs
It was a meeting of two strong personalities. There was a powerful man in the room, and it wasn’t Vladimir Putin. It began with a backstage meeting at the G20 Summit. Mounted cameras caught the whole thing.
Trump knows how to walk into a room. He’s charismatic and shaken by no one. With the confidence he exhibited approaching the Russian President, I almost expected the American President to say, “Trump, Donald J. Trump.” (cue secret agent music) It was a strong handshake with Trump’s powerful personality slathered all over it. It seemed to launch a private joke. They both looked as if they were on the edge of a chuckle. But, as they shook hands, Trump reached with his left hand to pat the underside of Putin’s arm.
The point goes to Trump.
Trump didn’t look into Putin’s eyes and see his soul. Trump looked into Putin’s eyes and rattled the Russian’s entire interior.
Body language expert Judi James claims the US President “nailed” the historic handshake with the Russian leader and proved his superior status at the event in Germany.
Someone asked me last night, with all of the accusations of Russian hacking and probing regarding our election, how could Trump even be willing to meet with Putin?
He’s President of the United States. That’s what he must do. It is a part of the job. Unlike Obama, Trump didn’t go in there as a frightened child, but as the man commanding the room, and putting everyone on notice.
In Poland he defended western values the day before. He encouraged the defense of liberty, and pointed a finger at the Middle East, and Russia. Our values are superior, he said, and it became a defining speech only one day before the historic handshake. Trump was larger than life, returned leadership in the world to America with the speech and the handshake, and the Trump administration has captured the resolve that is America, and reaffirmed that the United States is the leader of liberty in the world . . . and the media has reported otherwise because it frightens them, focusing on the reactions of Europe’s elites and anti-capitalists, not the people who cheered the American President.
Trump spoke in Poland as the Polish people embraced him, and chanted their love for him; and then Trump dominated Putin with his double handed first pump.
After Poland proclaimed their love for Trump, Putin revealed his respect for President Trump. Putin did not look like he normally did with Obama, bored, and like he was trying to work with a child in the room. Putin raised an almost wary-looking hand for the handshake with Trump, but rather than be intimidated, Trump leaned forward with an outstretched arm and offered his hand palm-up.
Body language expert Judi James explained, “This is an infamous power-trap and Putin had no option but to put his hand into the clamp. Once there he suffered an underarm-patting from Trump that made him look like the dominant leader, so much so that Putin responded with a pointed finger, which is the body language equivalent of drawing a weapon. Trump looked far more at ease here and the pose ended with Putin standing with his hands folded on the table while Trump continued to lean across the gap and pat him on the back. If Trump wanted to show friendliness but superior status I have to say he nailed it this time.”
According to Judi James, the Kremlin boss is usually adept at dominating his opponent when it comes to handshakes—making the Trump defeat even tougher to take.
She said, “Putin is an adept power-patter, adding a paternal pat to his shakes with world leaders in a bid to register dominance. He also uses disarming humour as he did with Merkel, getting her to laugh with him as they shook to suggest strong rapport. With Trump…the huge spatial gap between the two men played to the U.S. president’s advantage.”
It reminded me of a childhood dog I had. The dog barked at strangers so much so that the hair on her back reared up and the fangs were exposed. She frightened everyone, and nobody ever dared to even try to pet her. It was enough to make us half-believe the rumor that she was half-coyote. Then my future and current wife of 33 years met the dog, and Virginia showed no fear. She walked up, extended her hand, and before the dog could try to nip at her fingers, she slammed her palm atop the dog’s head and rubbed vigorously. You could see the confusion on the dog’s face. She didn’t know what to do with the firm treatment. So, she sat, wagged her tail, and never barked at Virginia again.
That is what Trump did to Putin in their first in the flesh meeting. Putin’s days of barking, at least for the time being, may have been quelled.
Douglas V. Gibbs of Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary, has been featured on “Hannity” and “Fox and Friends” on Fox News Channel, and other television shows and networks. Doug is a Radio Host on KMET 1490-AM on Saturdays with his Constitution Radio program, as well as a longtime podcaster, conservative political activist, writer and commentator. Doug can be reached at douglasvgibbs [at] yahoo.com or constitutionspeaker [at] yahoo.com.