Santa Rosa, CA
December 10, 2017
Is It Too Little, Too Late? Tillerson Explains What Trump Said About Jerusalem
by Rich Scheck
Donald Trump was the wrong person to deliver such a bold statement about the status of Jerusalem. His unilateral declaration has predictably triggered a massive reaction from the rest of the world rejecting his decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Had he chosen to make a joint statement with President Putin or with an Arab leader like Turkey President Erdogan or Egyptian President Sisi, limiting his commitment to West Jerusalem and leaving open the final status of the City’s East, he might have moved the stalled peace process forward. That would have taken much more preparation and hard work to get them on board.
If you listen carefully to what Trump actually said on Wednesday, implicit in his comments was room for some flexibility along the lines Secretary of State Tillerson is now articulating. But it sure didn’t sound that way and the belated effort to provide nuance may be too little, too late!
If your son-in-law is a Likudnik Jew closely tied for decades to Prime Minister Netanyahu whose illegal settlement policy has just gotten former National Security Adviser Flynn in a world of trouble for attempting to obstruct Obama’s UN vote, your credibility on the issue is close to zero.
With casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson likely pulling lots of strings, the call went out from him to Bibi to The Donald to Jared Kushner and on to General Flynn last December: get the Russians and the rest of the UN Security Council members to oppose condemnation of Israel’s settlement policy.
That apparent Logan Act violation and collusion with Israel to interfere with US foreign policy has not (yet) drawn the wrath of the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election. With a staff of anti-Trump, pro-Hillary antagonists and his own conflicts of interest surrounding Uranium One among other scandals, Mueller was a poor choice to head the probe.
Now the world has a more legitimate beef against the president: his decision may well lead to greater chaos both in the region and across the globe. Virtually every group and country has spoken out against the idea and the consensus is that it will result in open conflict in the near future.
With the unrelenting US/Israel/Saudi belligerence towards Iran, that may have been the plan all along. King Salman has criticized Trump’s move making it harder to pull off a unified front against the Persians as well as demonstrating the weakness of Kushner’s bromance with the Saudi Crown Prince.
It seems everything either of them touches falls apart and the besieged Tillerson has more than his work cut out attempting to explain away the mess created by the president and his son-in-law.
It’s a mess of incredible proportions that Trump apologists ignore in their praise for their fearless leader. They believe he’s doing a great job of creating jobs, opposing the corrupt Democrats and draining the swamp.
To some extent, that’s all true. But they seem to forget that he promised to put America first and stop our endless foreign entanglements. He has done just the opposite in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Mali and many other locales while posturing for war against North Korea and deepening our entanglement with Israel and the Saudis.
If our status as the “indispensable nation” and world’s policeman was a key issue in the 2016 campaign, then Trump is decidedly not the man he held himself out to be: anti-globalist; anti-Neocon hawk; against foreign interventions like Hillary, McCain, Bush and Obama all promoted: and focused on Making America Great Again.
By stepping up so dramatically in support of the controversial policies of a foreign nation, President Trump has not only violated his own campaign promises, he has moved the world closer to WWIII. Tasking Secretary Tillerson to explain away his ham-fisted decision may well be impossible given current developments and the world situation.