Trump Should Fire Rosenstein Immediately
Paul Craig Roberts
Does Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers for allegedly hacking Hillary’s emails and interfering in the US election have any purpose other than to throw a monkey wrench in President Trump’s upcoming summit with Putin?
Don’t forget that Rosenstein is implicated in the orchestration of Russiagate as a weapon against Trump, a weapon that serves the interests of the Democratic Party and the military/security complex about which President Eisenhower warned us 56 years ago to no avail. Rosenstein’s indictment of 12 Russians for allegedly hacking computers is a political indictment aimed at President Trump. The indictment is otherwise pointless as the Russian government will certainly not turn over its military personnel to a Washington kangeroo court. The indictment serves no purpose except to poison the atmosphere of the summit.
If you read the indictment, you will see that it consists of nothing but improbable accusations. There is no way on earth that the US Justice (sic) Department would be able to acquire the information in this fictional story that Rosenstein has presented. Moreover, there is no sign whatsoever of any evidence in the indictment. Rosenstein knows that he needs no evidence, because the accused will never be brought to trial.
Rosenstein has thrown red meat to the presstitutes, who are assets of the military/security complex and Democratic Party, and the presstitutes will pressure the Republicans to get behind Rosenstein’s call for a united front against Russian interference. You can imagine what would happen if Trump and Putin were to have a successful summit and normalize the relations that Washington ruined between the two countries. If your imagination is not working, consult here.
During the presidential election campaign, I pointed out that Trump was not Washington savvy, did not know who would support his positions, which were antithetical to the interests of powerful interest groups such as the military-security complex and global offshoring corporations, and that Trump ran the risk of being destroyed by his own appointments.
Rod Rosenstein is a Trump appointment. Moreover when Trump’s Attorney General ordered Rosenstein’s resignation, Trump refused to accept it and kept Rosenstein in office. Trump’s miscalculation is so enormously wrong that he deserves the knife in the back that Rosenstein just delivered.
If there were a valid indictment of 12 Russians, for the sake of the summit’s success, a normal functioning deputy attorney general would have held the indictment until after the summit results and, if the summit were successful, would have deep-sixed the indictment regardless of whether there is a basis for it.
My 25 years in Washington tells me clearly that Rosenstein has knifed Trump in the back. If Rosenstein has caused the summit to fail, Rosenstein has raised the risk of thermo-nuclear warfare.
There is an alternative to the explanation above. The alternative is that Trump, being a bully, was convinced by those in his administration, who most certainly do not want any normalization with Russia, that the indictment would put Putin on the spot and give Trump the advantage in the bullying arena. I can hear the CIA and John Bolton telling Trump that the indictment would put Putin on the defensive and permit Trump to pressure him into a summit outcome favorable to Washington’s hegemony.
This is a clever way of setting Trump up for failure in his meeting with Putin that could possibly poison the relations between the countries ever further without the failure being blamed on Rosenstein. Thus, Rosenstein’s position as Trump’s political assassin would not be threatened. He would still be running Russiagate with a recused Jeff Sessions sitting there useless.
Professor Stephen Cohen is a premier expert on US/Russian elections. His considered view, via The Nation, is compatible with mine:
Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (You can find previous installments, now in their fifth year, at TheNation.com.)
As Cohen pointed out in previous discussions, US-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) summits are a long tradition going back to FDR’s wartime meeting with Stalin in Yalta in 1943. Every American president since FDR met with a Kremlin leader in a summit-style format at least once, several doing so multiple times. The purpose was always to resolve conflicts and enhance cooperation in relations between the two countries. Some summits succeeded, some did not, but all were thought to be an essential aspect of White House-Kremlin relations.
As a rule, American presidents have departed for summits with bipartisan support and well-wishes. Trump’s upcoming meeting with Russian President Putin, in Helsinki on July 16, is profoundly different in two respects. US-Russian relations have rarely, if ever, been more dangerous. And never before has a president’s departure—in Trump’s case, first for a NATO summit and then the one with Putin—been accompanied by allegations that he is disloyal to the United States and thus cannot be trusted, defamations once issued only by extremist fringe elements in American politics. Now, however, we are told this daily by mainstream publications, broadcasts, and “think tanks.” According to a representative of the Clintons’ Center for American Progress, “Trump is going to sell out America and its allies.” The New York Times and The Washington Post also feature “experts”—they are chosen accordingly—who “worry” and “fear”that Trump and Putin “will get along.” The Times of London, a bastion of Russophobic Cold War advocacy, captures the mainstream perspective in a single headline: “Fears Grow Over Prospect of Trump ‘Peace Deal’ with Putin.”
An anti-“peace” Washington establishment is, of course, what still-unproven Russiagate allegations have wrought, as summed up by a New Yorkmagazine writer who advises us that the Trump-Putin summit may well be “less a negotiation between two heads of state than a meeting between a Russian-intelligence asset and his handler.” The charge is hardly original, having been made for months at MSNBC by the questionably credentialed “intelligence expert” Malcolm Nance and the, it seems, selectively informed Rachel Maddow, among many other “experts.” Considering today’s perilous geopolitical situation, it is hard not to conclude that much of the American political establishment, particularly the Democratic Party, would prefer trying to impeach Trump to averting war with Russia, the other nuclear superpower. For this too, there is no precedent in American history.
Not surprisingly, Trump’s dreaded visit to the NATO summit has only inflated the uncritical cult of that organization, which has been in search of a purpose and ever more funding since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. The New York Times declares that NATO is “the core of an American-led liberal world order,” an assertion that might startle many of the non-military institutions involved and even some liberals. No less puzzling is the ritualistic characterization of NATO as “the greatest military alliance in history.” It has never—thankfully—gone to war as an alliance, only a few “willing” member (and would-be member) states under US leadership. Even then, what counts as “great victories”? The police action in the Balkans in the 1990s? The disasters in the aftermath of Iraq and Libya? The longest, still-ongoing American war in history, in Afghanistan? NATO’s only real mission since the 1990s has been expanding to Russia’s borders, and that has resulted in less, not more, security for all concerned, as is evident today. The only “Russian threat” since the end of the Soviet Union is one provoked by the US-led NATO itself, from Georgia and Ukraine to the Baltic states. And only NATO’s vast corporate bureaucracy, its some 4,000 employees housed in its new $1.2 billion headquarters in Brussels, and US and other weapons manufacturers who gain from each new member state, have profited. But none of this can be discussed in the mainstream, because Trump uttered a few words questioning NATO’s role and funding, even though the subject has been on the agenda of several think tanks since the 1990s.
Also not surprisingly, and unlike in the past, mainstream media have found little place for serious discussion of today’s dangerous conflicts between Washington and Moscow: regarding nuclear-weapons-imitation treaties, cyber-warfare, Syria, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the Black Sea region, even Afghanistan. It’s easy to imagine how Trump and Putin could agree on conflict-reduction and cooperation in all of these realms. But considering the traducing by the Post, Times, and Maddow of a group of senators who visited Moscow around July 4, it’s much harder to see how the defamed Trump could implement such “peace deals.” (There is a long history of sabotaging or attempting to sabotage summits and other détente-like initiatives. Indeed, a few such attempts have been evident in recent months and more may lie ahead.)
Nor is the unreasonably demonized Putin without constraints at home, though none like those that may cripple Trump. The Kremlin’s long-postponed decision to raise the pension age for Russian men and women has caused his popular ratings, though still high, to drop some 8 to 10 percent in recent weeks. More significantly, segments of the Russian military-security establishment do not trust Putin’s admitted “illusions” about negotiating with Washington in the past. And like their American counterparts, they do not trust Trump, whom they too view as unreliable, if not capricious. These Russian “hard-liners” have made their concerns known publicly, and Putin must take them into account. As has been a function of summits over the decades, he is seeking in Trump a reliable national-security partner. Given the constraints on Trump and his proclivities, Putin too is taking a risk, and he knows it.
Even if nothing more specific is achieved, everyone who cares about American and international security should hope that the Trump-Putin summit results at least in a restoration of the diplomatic process, the longstanding “contacts,” between Washington and Moscow that have been greatly diminished, if not destroyed, by the new Cold War and by Russiagate allegations. Cold War without diplomacy is a recipe for actual war.
We should also hope that the Democratic Party’s reaction to the summit, in its pursuit of Trump, does not make it the party of unrelenting Cold War, as it may be already becoming.