Trump Steaks

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Jimmy Margulies)

In other news, BMW says it's moving future production to China (instead of South Carolina) and raising prices in response to Trump's trade war.

Are we great yet?

Meanwhile, a Chinese factory has been hired to crank out flags for Trump's 2020 campaign.

We're definitely great.

Finally, the New Yorker has an inside look at what's going on behind the scenes ahead of Trump's upcoming meeting with Putin and you may or may not be surprised to learn that, once again, it's all about Saudi Arabia and Israel's crusade against Iran. Even Crimea is about Iran.

During a private meeting shortly before the November, 2016, election, Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, floated to a longtime American interlocutor what sounded, at the time, like an unlikely grand bargain. The Emirati leader told the American that Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, might be interested in resolving the conflict in Syria in exchange for the lifting of sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Current and former U.S. officials said that bin Zayed, known as M.B.Z., was not the only leader in the region who favored rapprochement between the former Cold War adversaries. While America’s closest allies in Europe viewed with a sense of dread Trump’s interest in partnering with Putin, three countries that enjoyed unparallelled influence with the incoming Administration—Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E.—privately embraced the goal. Officials from the three countries have repeatedly encouraged their American counterparts to consider ending the Ukraine-related sanctions in return for Putin’s help in removing Iranian forces from Syria.

Experts say that such a deal would be unworkable, even if Trump were interested. They say Putin has neither the interest nor the ability to pressure Iranian forces to leave Syria. Administration officials have said that Syria and Ukraine will be among the topics that Trump and Putin will discuss at their summit in Helsinki on July 16th. White House officials did not respond to a request for comment.

I assume Trump will give Putin whatever he wants even if the Saudis didn't tell him to.

  • ninjaf

    South Carolina went for Trump. They are getting what they voted for.

  • Badgerite

    Iran wasn’t fighting in Syria because they liked Assad. They plan to have access to and influence in Lebanon via the Syria connection. They are not ‘leaving’.

    • ninjaf

      To know that, you would have to listen to experts and read information for how it all fits together. So, it is certain that Trump has no idea of any of that.

      • Badgerite

        Yes, but, I’m just someone who reads. Surely there are people in government these days who read?
        There is a logic to this strategy for Israel. And surely for Putin.
        The Gulf Wars reversed the outcome of the Iran/Iraq War. Iran was the country left standing after the Gulf Wars 1 and 2. And Iraq changed from a Sunni power and bulwark in the region to a primarily Shiite state. Russia aided them in developing nuclear technology that their major Sunni adversaries don’t have and will not acquire from the US. Russia has played itself into a position of influence in the Arab world again. This time, their main issue in doing so is not the cause of the Palestinian homeland or grievances lingering from English colonial rule. Rather it is the ages old rift in Islam between Sunni and Shiite claims of legitimacy in the Islamic world. I think Netanyahu sees this as an issue and a rift that Israel can navigate and carve out a niche of influence and some form of legitimacy in the region by helping the Sunni oil kingdoms who are far less adamant these days about Palestinian rights than is Iran. It is an ‘enemy of my enemy’ kind of alliance, but that is more than Israel has ever had in the region from the gulf oil states. But I would be very skeptical that the Russians can deliver on keeping Iran and their proxies at the border, Hezbollah in Lebanon, at bay.
        And if Iran does go on to develop a nuclear weapons capability, what then?
        The Saudi’s would not rest until they had that as well. And lest we forget, 15 or the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia. The thing about an absolute monarchy is that there is every possibility they will be out of step with the true feelings of their own people. And they could fall. Or the technology they develop would fall into more dangerous hands.
        So, none of this strikes me as a ‘good idea’.