Saturday, May 27, 2017


Trump's entourage presented his first foray abroad as some sort of Parsifal act, mostly intended to pay his respect to the three monotheistic faiths of the book. Other religions will have to wait. 

The first leg of this "royal progress" was to his liking.  The decor looked like an aggrandizement of his Trump Tower birdcage. The Saudis flattered him ad nauseam. The next stop in Israel got somewhat lost in a forced sitcom menage imagery wherein the two "first" couples played the happy fools. The encounter with President Abbas was scripted, as expected. After that, everything went downhill:  polite in the Vatican, rude in Brussels and tone-deaf in Taormina's G7, where most of the same European leaders were forced to endure yet again Trump's "simplified" worldview.

Meanwhile in Washington no day goes by without yet another layer of the Russian connection being uncovered, compromising the president's entourage and family.  Normally American presidents try to capitalize on their "wins" abroad. Undoubtedly Trump will try to present his Riyadh arms deal as his Golden Palm. On the negative, he left close allies disgruntled, the Montenegro P.M. shoved for "lese-president", and major issues (NATO, EU, trade, climate, to name a few) on life-support.  The former existing chemistry between the US and Western Europeans is gone. He must be relieved to leave the perceived European snubs and return to the alternative, albeit unpleasant, facts at home. The EU or NATO members will neither forget or forgive that this disliked US president chose to lecture them while he lavished praise on Israelis and, most of all, the Saudis, who received a blank check. In reality, real issues remained unattended. The American amateurish delegation was too happy to get high on the scent of Saudi rosewater rather than to get serious on issues like Ukraine, climate, and globalization.  The G7 was an appropriate finale for this surreal trip, a "bummer ", leaving Trump isolated, as deserved.

The president remains basically an inflated car dealer, a lazy usurper who does not try to reach to the level of the historical, cultural dimension of his position. His closest confidants are his invasive family without a pedigree. This unsophisticated administration baffles and alarms. There is no grace in the moral or intellectual make-up. Every leak is an SOS. Whatever the leaks, the turn-arounds, or the clear voice of Sally Yates might uncover, it is highly doubtful that this unhinged president will ever repent. His Russian "Overtures" will keep coming, even at the price of all the rest turning topsy-turvy. The latest revelation regarding his son-in-law Jared Kushner is an undesirable welcome mat for Trumps's homecoming.  Unfortunately, personalities with few ideas often stick to them. Their insecurity is the counterpart of their stubbornness.


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