Yesterday, the world’s press once again erupted in outrage.
The hacks were upset…appalled…indignant.
Of course, it was The Donald that set it off.
But this time, they charged him not with being a boor or a nincompoop. This time, the charge was the sort that could get a man hanged, or at least impeached — treason.
And this time, we rise to his defence, not in the spirit of mischief and mockery like we did yesterday, but in earnest.
First…a brief travel update.
We drove from France to Ireland via England. Readers with a map of Europe in their heads will quickly see that this is impossible.
England is separated from France by the English Channel. And it is separated from Ireland by the Irish Sea.
Since we neither walk on water nor drive on it, we took the Chunnel under the Channel, where you drive onto a train for the 35-minute passage…and a ferry across the sea from Wales to the Emerald Isle.
It was hot and crowded in London. And it took hours to get out of the city. Then, we headed west, across the Severn River to Wales. Everywhere we looked, the grass was brown.
Our ferry connection was at Pembroke, where we lined up with other cars, mostly vacationers with children in the back seats and additional storage on the roof racks. Once on the ferry, it was a pandemonium of children running around and babies crying.
‘These are big families,’ Elizabeth noticed. The average seemed to be about four children.
Fortunately, we had reserved a cabin, where we were able to rest peacefully until we pulled into Rosslare Harbour about four hours later.
This morning, it is a cool 57 degrees here in Ireland…with rain in the forecast. But here too the grass is dried out.
‘The climate is changing,’ says a friend. ‘England and Ireland are becoming more Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers.’
We’ll see about that…
Deep State war
Back to world events. Our beat here at the Diary is money. But today, we turn away from our usual rounds to try to connect some dots that lie on the periphery.
The question on the table: Did Donald Trump just go to war with the Deep State?
There are three parts to the Deep State agenda — the Warfare State, the Welfare State, and the Police State. Together, they keep the money flowing to the insiders.
Until now, Mr Trump has shown himself willing to go along with all three.
So far, he’s been unable — or unwilling — to significantly cut spending on the Welfare State.
He made no attempt to rein in America’s 17 different spook agencies. And he actually increased Pentagon spending by some $700 billion over the next 10 years.
But what justifies spending so much on defence? And why put up with a vast, Police-State spy system in what is supposed to be a free country?
What are we so afraid of?
Terrorists are a trivial enemy. Even with all the encouragement given to them by the US — bombing, assassinating, killing thousands of civilians — the ‘insurgents’ can’t seem to get their act together.
They present no plausible threat to the USA; they have no tanks, no planes, no ships, and no marching bands. Worse, like last season’s TV shows, the public has lost interest in them.
What does that leave? Russia!
The idea is absurd. But apparently, it’s the best Deep State strategists can think of. Russia has a tiny economy, with GDP less than one-tenth of America’s.
Its military capabilities are impressive, but no match for the UK, let alone the US. The Pentagon spends 10 times more than the Russian military.
Why worry about Russia? Its tanks are not going to pour across the Rhine. Its soldiers are not going to raise the Russian flag on top of the Eiffel Tower.
Nor is it going to land troops in Alaska and take away our national parks. The Russians are not going to start a war with the US, because they couldn’t win.
And yet, the elite insist that the Russians are ‘bad guys.’ Per House Speaker Paul Ryan:
‘There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals…’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
‘I’ve said a number of times and I say it again, the Russians are not our friends and I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community.’
Friends, schmends…Russia has ‘values’ and ‘ideals’ of its own, just like every other country. And like all the world’s people, Russians do the best they can with what they have to work with.
But for the Establishment, Russia is a bȇte noire…a bogeyman…a monster from the steppes. Attila with a Kalashnikov. Genghis with nuclear warheads.
And the sight of a US president treating the Russian president with friendly respect is anathema. When asked if he believed the assessment of the FBI that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election, Trump conceded that he ‘saw no reason why they would.’
He might just as well have supped with the Devil himself.
From CNN anchor Anderson Cooper:
‘… one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president… I’ve ever seen.’
James Fallows of The Atlantic:
‘…shameful performance… [Trump is a] conscious tool [or] useful idiot… those are the choices…’
CNN’s Jim Acosta:
‘This president of the United States [is] essentially taking the word of the Russian president… over his own intelligence community… It was astonishing, just astonishing, to be in the room…’
John Brennan, former CIA director:
‘It was nothing short of treasonous…’
‘It was beyond the pale,’ added another former CIA official.
(Incidentally, ‘beyond the pale’ is an expression that comes from here in Ireland. England invaded the country and established its beachhead in Dublin. It put up a palisade to protect itself from the wild Irish.)
In comparison to the hysterical shrieks of the elite warmongers, Donald Trump sounded like a sensible man:
‘I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish. We should’ve had this dialogue a long time ago; a long time, frankly, before I got to office.’
But what does this mean? Is the American president undermining the foundations of US imperial power — the Warfare State…and the Police State? Is this a challenge to the power of the Deep State itself?
Do the Ruskies have something on him? Or is this just The Donald — out of control…and making it up as he goes along?
And what about Russia’s alleged attempt to distort US elections? Shouldn’t Trump have come down hard on them for that?
Tune in tomorrow…