The American backlash against President Trump over his summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin has been as ferocious as it was predictable.
Every possible vilification has been thrown at him. But it is the slur of Trump as “traitor” that puts this president in grave danger.
Democrats, Republicans, state intelligence pundits, hawkish media, liberal media — all have launched a torrent of attacks on Donald Trump for daring to meet with Putin in Helsinki this week.
The Washington Post accused Trump of “openly colluding with the criminal leader of a hostile power”. Let those extreme words sink in for a moment. The implication is as serious as it can get.
As with other politicians and media outlets, the Post said the president had “betrayed” American intelligence services by siding with President Putin in denying that Russia had interfered in US elections.
Former CIA chief John Brennan denounced Trump as a “traitor” who had “committed high crimes” in holding a friendly summit with Putin.
It can’t get more seditious than that. Trump is being denigrated by almost the entire political and media establishment in the US as a “treasonous” enemy of the state.
Following this logic, there is only one thing for it: the US establishment is calling for a coup to depose the 45th president. One Washington Post oped out of a total of five assailing the president gave the following stark ultimatum: “If you work for Trump, quit now”.
The US political class have cast their verdict that Trump is a state enemy, and are openly calling for a mutiny against the White House.
Trump’s political survival is the balance. Possibly the only thing staying the hands of his enemies for now is their wariness about how the ordinary American citizens would react to a deep state maneuver to overthrow the elected leader.
Despite the torrid hysteria in the US political elite over the meeting with Putin, the mass of American citizens seem rather sanguine about the development. It’s fair to say that many Americans would applaud the attempt by Trump to normalize relations with Moscow. After all, that was one of the main reasons why they voted him into the White House in 2016.
The American political class are agog to get rid of Trump, but they are apprehensive to make a decisive move just yet, because such a gambit to depose the president may engender a wider social revolt against the elites. There is a strong sense that US society is seething from numerous grievances. Poverty and abysmal social inequality as well as popular alienation from the Washington establishment are all too rife for a potential civil war or revolution if stoked too much.
One can anticipate that the media campaign to pillory Trump as a traitor will go into overdrive in the coming days, with the calculation by his powerful enemies within the deep state that public opinion can be turned decisively against him for “betraying America” to a “hostile enemy”. If that manipulation of public opinion is achieved, then Trump is a goner.
Admittedly, Trump has many flaws and much of his foreign policy is in keeping with the usual criminal conduct of American imperialism. But one thing that can be said in his favor is that he is not driven by an irrational Russophobia nor a hellbent determination to have a confrontation with Moscow — unlike many in the US establishment.
Trump is often guilty of peddling fake news himself. But one thing he gets right is his dismissal of the “Russia-gate” narrative as a hoax. The US establishment created that farce as a way to undermine Trump and overturn his intention of normalizing relations with Russia.
For two years, Trump’s political enemies have been flogging the “Russia interfered in our democracy” trope — to no avail. The latest wheeze was the unsubstantiated indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence personnel only days before the Helsinki summit.
To be fair to Trump, he wasn’t dissuaded by that effort to sabotage his summit with Putin. But the trap was set. As soon as the meeting was over in Helsinki, all hell has broken lose in the deep state-controlled US media and politicians, condemning Trump.
Russia’s Putin called the tedious allegations of Russian interference in US democracy “the biggest nonsense ever”. Trump said he agreed with that assessment. Probably many ordinary American citizens also agree that the whole affair has been cooked up by political elites who were never happy with the democratic mandate given to Trump.
Trump is right to reject the so-called US intelligence assessment claiming that Russia under Putin’s orders meddled in the presidential race. Putin told the Helsinki press conference that he wanted Trump to win the election in order to improve bilateral relations. So what? Are foreign leaders not entitled to have opinions on who comes to power in rival countries?
In any case, the US intelligence assessment is not conclusive nor a consensus of all 16 state agencies, as former American ambassador Jack Matlock recently pointed out. In other words, the claim is only partial and far from definitive. It was “politically motivated,” said Matlock, a veteran diplomat.
The American political class is sick. It is suffering from a psychosis that prevents any understanding of reality. It is living in abject denial of reality, convinced of its delusions about Russia being a hostile enemy, and Trump being a “Kremlin stooge”.
The problem for the American establishment is that it doesn’t like the way democracy worked out. The people voted for a candidate who wanted to restore relations with Russia. For the elite, that outcome is unacceptable, and they have tried every dirty trick in the book to overturn the democratic process. Ironically, they claim that Russia tried to subvert American democracy, when it is the effete elite in Washington and the deep state apparatus that are subverting the country’s constitution.
How ludicrous can these people get? An American president holds a long-overdue meeting with the leader of the world’s second nuclear power. The meeting was a success in terms of opening a friendly dialogue between the two leaders. And yet the US ruling class excoriate this event as a “disgrace” and “criminal collusion”.
The interests of ordinary American citizens, as with the mass of people around the world, are not served by irrational hostility towards Russia. It is in our interests to have peaceful dialogue and to develop mutual understanding between the US and Russia to avert confrontations.
It is only an unrepresentative elite who could possibly want hostility. War and conflict is profitable for a tiny few. But this cabal in the US, and among its European allies, driven by Russophobia and war profits, is nevertheless extremely powerful. They control the mainstream media and politicians with their money and intelligence assets.
When the interests of the ruling elite in the US are threatened anything is possible. Assassinations and coups are par for the course for these plutocrats and their agents.
The livid reaction to Trump’s eminently reasonable engagement with Putin this week — a reaction that is vicious and coordinated — is an ominous sign that powerful forces are moving against this president.