By Robert A. Vella

It isn’t always easy to digest the seemingly mundane workings of geopolitics and extract something meaningful or substantial.  To the average person going about their daily lives, the episodic machinations of international relations must look like a lot of nonsense.  Unfortunately, this common perspective is analogous to not seeing the forest from the trees.  What may appear to be irrelevant on the world stage most often is extremely relevant to the lives of millions and billions of people across the globe.

What must first be understood is that international relations are not simply the diplomatic discourse between countries.  It is, more accurately, the interpersonal interactions between the individual leaders and representatives of each country.  These “players,” if you will, have their own unique personalities, interests, and agendas.  Some work very hard to do the right things for their nations and for the world, while others have less altruistic goals.  Some are modest and unassuming, while others are bold and provocative.  The interplay between them is absolutely fascinating for observers who are aware of the dynamics and who are aware of the potential consequences.

For observers who are less aware, a bombastic figure like President Donald Trump might seem to be a powerful and influential leader in international relations;  but, such a view is wholly inaccurate.  Trump is something of a pariah on the world stage, both because of his inept understanding of foreign affairs and because of his self-imposed isolation which results from a deep frustration over not getting his way.  The world’s leaders correctly see Trump as an infantile buffoon whom they pay only obligatory lip service to.

Conversely, world leaders take Russia’s Vladimir Putin very, very seriously.  Putin is the Machiavellian mastermind that Trump wants to be but isn’t.  He is coldly calculating and a chess-master of foreign affairs.  Putin is a puppeteer par excellence.  He doesn’t rant and rave like Trump.  He doesn’t boast like Trump, and he doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve like Trump.  Putin is that little quiet boy in the back of the classroom who watched everything with a mischievous grin on his face and with whom no one else could trust.

There are concurrent developments in the world right now which leads me to suspect that Putin is up to something big.  The events of the last week – i.e. Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, revelations about Trump’s ties to Russia, the G20 Summit, and Putin’s working relationship with Saudi Arabia to corner the crude oil market – provide some pretty convincing circumstantial evidence.

It’s been quite apparent that Putin has been using Trump for his own purposes.  However, I’m speculating that Putin now considers Trump damaged goods and he is in the process of discarding the soon-to-be useless American president like a chef would throw away a broken knife.  Putin probably sees in the Saudis an eager and exploitable partner in his sustained efforts to undermine America this time through economic means.  If Trump does fall from power, then this would make sense because Putin’s earlier political ploy to undermine America would have failed.

Trump is so far in over his head that it’s painfully obvious.  From:  Trump overheard saying ‘get me out of here’ as he walked offstage during G-20 Summit photo-op

President Donald Trump was recorded saying “get me out of here” as he strode offstage during a photo op at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Trump was onstage for a group photo Saturday before he shook hands with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and walked off the stage, closely followed by an aide.

A microphone then recorded the president, who was then off-camera, telling an aide “get me out of here.”

Trump eventually returned to take a group photo, marking the end of the two-day gathering of international leaders.

Trump was slated to conduct critical talks at the closely watched summit, including a formal dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping during which he would address the burgeoning trade war between the two countries. In remarks ahead of their Saturday night dinner, the leaders both expressed their friendly relationship helped the talks.

Other issues, including climate change, were pushed aside by Trump, as he was the only leader present who did not sign a statement reaffirming leaders’ commitment to addressing climate change through guidelines of the Paris agreement.

Aside from small appearances, Trump kept distance from the press after he canceled a Saturday afternoon press conference as a sign of respect in the hours following former George H.W. Bush’s passing.

Back home, Trump’s legal troubles keep mounting.  From:  The Memo: Trump’s Mueller problems deepen, worrying allies

President Trump’s problems are deepening after a dramatic week in the Robert Mueller probe, and even his allies are worried about what might come next.

Trump has become increasingly enraged about the special counsel’s probe after a week in which his former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and affirmed his full cooperation with Mueller.

Mueller also stepped away from a cooperation agreement with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, accusing Manafort of lying. And the author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi publicized a draft plea agreement with Mueller, even as he rejected that deal.

“It is something that has again taken the president way off message, and it creates a sense of political doom or disaster,” said one Republican strategist with ties to the White House. “It’s hard to tell what you’re dealing with – until you actually have charges.”

Another GOP operative had an even pithier summation: “Darkness falling,” the source said.

Related story:  Intercepts Solidify C.I.A. Assessment That Saudi Prince Ordered Khashoggi Killing

15 thoughts on “What the hell is Putin up to now?

  1. Yeah, Putin ain’t no dummy. He’s playing this like a master chess player. And you’re right. Once li’l Donny’s fall starts to gain steam, and it will soon I think, Vlad will be done with the idiot. I really got the sense of that from the G20. He must be literally laughing at the orange idiot every chance he gets. Boy, who would of thunk this would happen with such a great guy like li’l Donny in the WH? 🙂 MAGA!! But listen to Fox, and you’d think Trump is still the bestest thing going.

    Liked by 2 people

    • He might’ve been in over his head in his real estate deals too. As I shared in a recent post, the banks stopped lending money to him years ago including Deutsche Bank (which got raided by police for money laundering last week) leaving the Russians as his only major source of financing (but, maybe not too much longer).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think Rex Tiller said it best: “Trump is a F’ing Moron.” I wonder what he thinks about all the respect, deference and love being poured out for President George Herbert Walker Bush this week? I’m sure his state funeral will get the lowest TV ratings in history.

    Liked by 1 person

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