The Art of the Double-Cross: Or, Why I Think Trump Would Have Abandoned the Ukraine (Part One).
Recent events show us that Donald Trump bears no loyalty to American allies abroad. The best. and most notable example is the Kurds who have been all but abandoned to the predations of the Turks.
Of course, it is tough to maintain loyalty to allies who are both powerless and lack the means to purchase the requisite American presidential influence. But, it seems apparent that Turkish President Erdogan very likely has the adequate resources to threaten Donald Trump with kompromat.
The most obvious reason Trump cannot “buck” Erdogan is the existence of the Trump Towers hotel inside the Turkish capital. The less obvious and more troubling reason comes from the early reports regarding Ret. General Mike Flynn’s alleged efforts to kidnap and “extradite” the cleric Fethullah Gulen.
The story has faded now that Flynn has entered his temporary guilty plea, but I doubt that Erdogan has forgotten. Add to that the information likely known to the Turkish Intelligence service about the circumstances leading to the death of Jamal Khashoggi and Trump’s likely false denial of advance knowledge of the plot, and Erdogan can certainly pose a credible threat to Trump’s claims of ignorance.
But at bottom, Trump’s abrupt and faithless abandonment of the Kurds and his denial of their assistance in identifying al-Baghdadi for U.S. Special Forces is fully rational if we see it as part of the larger capitulation to Russian and Turkish interests. Trump’s refusal to credit the Kurds with assistance is, of course, a patent falsehood. (In fact, the Kurds obtained samples from al-Baghdadi’s underwear for DNA testing to assure his presence prior to the insertion of U. S. Troops inside the location.)
Trump’s denial of Kurdish help can only be seen as a product of his overriding need to curry favor with both Putin and Erdogan.
Viewed from this perspective, it. is easier to see that if Trump was. being coerced into abandoning one ally to a predator-state, that he likely was being coerced into the abandonment of another.
Putin, knowing that Trump might be persuaded to cut and run on the Kurds, would see the same opportunity to compromise American security commitments in the Ukraine.
The Ukraine presented Putin with both a convenient and unique opportunity to simultaneously patronize Trump’s greed and propensity to believe in conspiracy theories while also undermining the most basic conclusions of the Mueller Report as to. Russian interference in our last Presidential election.
Therefore, if Trump could be inveigled into coercing new Ukrainian President Zelensky into announcing an investigation into both the Biden family and “Crowdstrike,” Trump would have another political mirage to use in the 2020 campaign. And, if all went well, its sources and origins would be covert and unknown.
Yet, I suspect Trump’s (and Putin’s) plan went further. If Zelensky had appeared on CNN in mid-September to announce an investigation into Burisma and the origins of the DNC hacking, there would have been no assurance for Ukraine that Trump would have delivered the Javelins as promised.
In fact, the agreement would have been unenforceable on the part of the Ukrainians who might not have understood the “fine print” of U.S. appropriations law — for in a mere two weeks or so, the budget authority for military assistance to the Ukraine would have evaporated as a matter of law.
Trump might well have justified his Administration’s failure to apportion (approve) the aid based on “corruption” in the Ukraine — something Zelensky had just announced on Cable News Network.
No doubt, that outcome would have been satisfactory to V. Putin. Only, enterprising reporters and the deus ex machina of Congressional oversight rescued Zelensky from the double-bind of the probable double-cross.
Now, it is up to the Congress to unearth the documentary and testimonial evidence to show that Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds was likely part of a “one-two strategy” to appease the interests of America’s adversaries abroad.
The next question is why?
Albert Turner Goins