On Friday they met, shock hands, chatted briefly, and stood side-by-side, posing for the traditional “family photo” at the Danang, Vietnam APEC summit.
Trump didn’t attend the Business Advisory Council session held earlier in the day. He and Putin met briefly at least two other times – at the Friday evening dinner and at the start of a Saturday morning meeting.
Earlier and again on Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said no formal meeting was scheduled between the two leaders – an unacceptable US snub, reflecting the dismal state of bilateral relations, the fault lying solely in Washington.
Trump’s Asia trip was all about selling war and weapons. He demonized North Korea unacceptably, urged greater regional militarization despite no imminent threats, and sought improved US trade relations with countries he visited.
Putin’s agenda differs markedly, selling world peace and stability, not war and chaos, along with mutually cooperative relations with all nations.
He and Trump have much to discuss. Yet after nearly 10 months in office, Washington failed to agree on a vitally needed summit between the two leaders.
Major issues include Syria, Ukraine, North Korea, provocative US-led NATO military exercises near Russia’s borders, deploying their forces near them, phony accusations of Russian US election hacking, hostile measures against Russian English-language media, and the overall dismal state of bilateral relations – risking eventual confrontation if not resolved, the ominous threat of possible nuclear war.
Responsible leadership demands both sides engage on these and all other issues affecting bilateral relations.
Putin is eager for summit talks anywhere, anytime – neutral territory the most likely location if scheduled ahead.
Dark forces in America co-opted Trump, controlling what he does and doesn’t do, maintaining the most dismal bilateral relations with Russia in memory – worsening, not improving with nothing in prospect for positive change.
A strong US leader would do the right thing. Trump is weak, a captive of America’s deep state, his administration infested with hawkish generals, billionaires, neocons and Goldman Sachs alums, a prescription for endless wars of aggression and turmoil worldwide.
Summit discussions with Putin wouldn’t change things. Yet it could signal hope for stepping back from the brink. Instead, things are going in the opposite direction.
Possible preemptive, catastrophic US nuclear war against North Korea, Iran, or elsewhere is too grave a risk to ignore.
Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance, the most critical of all issues left undiscussed in the mainstream.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is set at two-and-a-half minutes to midnight. Its board warned:
“The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.”
Existential threats are ominously real. They’re left unaddressed because of Washington’s rage for unchallenged global dominance – risking life on earth and planetary destruction pursuing it.