Statesmen are often portrayed as serious even dour men who rarely smile in their pursuit of their aims for their countries. President Nixon & Secretary Kissinger are universally recognized as Statemen & so are European diplomats of yore, notably the Prince of diplomats, Talleyrand, who said “speech has given to man to conceal his thoughts“.
But countenance, demeanor are simply tools. The true test of a Stateman is the ability to understand the moment & mold it to achieve the diplomatic goals despite the opposition. Has President Trump has met this true test?
Think back to the fall of 2015 and hear Candidate Trump clearly discard the established foreign policy. The past two presidencies were dominated by NeoCons & NeoLibs, both committed to an interventionist foreign policy. Their aims were different, their choices were different except their common hate for Russia, Putin’s Russia. All Non-Trump Republican candidates believed in this religion and so did the two Democrat candidates. The only candidate who openly disagreed and committed himself to changing it was Donald Trump. We highlighted this in our October 30, 2015 article titled Is Donald Trump Right About Foreign Policy?
Very few cared much about Candidate Trump’s views then because very very few expected him to win the Republican Nomination let alone win the general election against Hillary Clinton. That changed almost immediately after the election when all the attack dogs converged on him about his attachment to Putin & Russia.
Fast forward to May 10, 2017, the day after President Trump fired FBI Director Comey. Remember this photograph from the Oval Office on that day?
Both NeoCons & NeoLibs and the entire media phalanx exploded in near-demonic fury; the sheer gall of President Trump to meet with Lavrov & Kislyak in the Oval Office, the day after firing Comey; the unbelievably arrogant & almost gloating statement by President Trump to these Russians about firing Comey. Even his Republican Supporters in the Congress were livid.
None of them understood the true statesmanship demonstrated by President Trump in that meeting. They had been so brainwashed into equating statesmanship with a Hamlet-like president who looked somber as he debated with himself. They didn’t get the absolute basics of statesmanship – convince the other side that you mean business & that you have the capability to mean business & use the language the other side understands to deliver this conviction.
We felt otherwise and wrote so after that meeting:
- President Trump was totally different with Russia’s Lavrov & Kislyak. The Russians, Putin included, are alpha males who engage in ribald talk & flaunt power. … President Trump, in our opinion, struck the perfect tone in his conversation with Russian Foreign Minister & Ambassador. He bragged about his strength & power in getting rid of Comey & feeling free to deal with Russia. He sent a signal to Putin that said I am the boss and you have got to work with me. This, to us, was perfect diplomatic locker room talk between people of power, people who know how to use power, people who respect power. President Trump, we are convinced, achieved far more with his uncouth bragging style with Russians than anything President Obama could have said.
President Trump achieved what he wanted & what was absolutely necessary. Lavrov & Kislyak understood Trump and reported back to Putin that President Trump was the real thing. That allowed Putin to wait patiently until President Trump was free & ready to deal with him. The style-message of President Trump in that Oval Office meeting was the only reason Putin waited until this week to come to his own conclusions.
But there was a limit to Putin’s patience and he sent a clear message before this week’s meeting that his patience was running out. That made this week’s Trump-Putin meeting exceedingly important for what President Trump wanted to achieve.
Man, did this meeting succeed & how? Only four people were in the meeting apart from the 2 translators – President Trump, President Putin, Secretary of State Tillerson and Foreign Minister Lavrov. Understand that the latter three have worked with each other for years, even decades. They know each other & respect each other. The newbie here was President Trump and he won over these grizzly veterans. Hear the respect & wonderment in Tillerson’s words about President Trump’s performance.
The aides outside became worried when the 30-minute meeting ran over 75 minutes. Panic striken, they sent Mrs. Trump to break up the boys. They literally shooed her way. This scene seemed so like what happens when guys get together in the backyard or in the den and at some point the wife comes in to break it up. The majority of husbands give in meekly but the rare confident husband shooes her away to get back with the guys. Think of what China’s Xi Jin Ping, Japan’s Abe, European leaders or Saudi King Salman must be thinking of this 2 hour & 16 minute meeting. What’s going on they must be wondering!
Two strong dominant resolute leaders of the only two countries in the world capable of destroying each other and the entire world. They talked as only such guys can with frank camaraderie and with respect for each other. Read what an expert, an expert emeritus, an expert who was in the Senior Bush -Gorbachev summit said of this summit;
- “both Trump & Putin said today, we are meeting, we have agreed and we promise positive things to come; in other words, they have formed a political partnership“
Professor Stephen Cohen did not stop there. He said:
- “today we witnessed President Trump emerge as an American Statesman; I think it was a very good day for everyone“
On second thought, don’t just read our excerpts of what professor Cohen said; watch & listen to him yourselves:
Editor’s PS: If you want to hear a robust & rational understanding of a true independent Trump supporter & the difference between that sensible America First conservatism and a deep seated anti-Russia philosophy, watch the clip below:
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