The Helsinki summit between President Trump and President Putin has not gone down well with the US media which wasted no time in dubbing the summit meet as a capitulation and sabotaging of American interests by the American President.
The US media which revels in Russian bashing expected it’s President to do the same when he met the former KGB agent in the Finnish capital, instead the US President struck a more conciliatory approach with his Russian counterpart, much to the chagrin of US media and Democrats in particular who wanted Trump to encounter Putin on the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US elections and the Syrian crisis apart from the downing of Malaysian airliner MH-17.
Much of the American media has still not reconciled to the fact that Trump became the US President after trailing the media ratings for most part of the campaign; and when President Trump started to reveal his own mind on the domestic and international front, in defiance of a hawkish approach recommended by his advisors and followed by his predecessors, he came in for ridicule by his own. He has often been criticised for taking on China – even though America has a massive 400 billion dollar trade deficit with China, and the American President is just doing the obvious by trying to arrest that deficit by imposing sanctions on Beijing.
When Trump moved US warships closer to the North Korean shores and turned the heat on the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, he was accused of war mongering and bringing the world closer to war. When he met Kim in Singapore and struck a rapport with the eccentric dictator in an attempt to denuclearize North Korea, he was accused of not doing enough by his own media back home.
So when the US President decided to have a one on one with the Russian President, the US media went delirious. Even before the summit happened, a particular section of the US media were out with daggers drawn on what they perceived as a certain give away of American interests as Trump decided to first meet Putin without his key aides, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo – National Security Advisor and Secretary Of State.
Just before the summit, as is his wont, the twitter happy US President had blamed his own intelligence agencies for the alleged Russian meddling in the US elections, a topic which is raging in the American press. After the two leaders addressed a joint press conference and seemed to have struck a rapport, the US media wasted no time in accusing the American President of sabotaging the country’s interests. They perceived the meeting as a failure of their President in reprimanding and holding Putin responsible for meddling in the 2016 US elections, apart from failing to hold him responsible for the Syrian crisis and the MH -17 bombing.
US-Russia relations were at a low ebb since the Obama days, and both sides are to be blamed for it as President Trump rightly pointed out during the press briefing. This summit meeting between the heads of State of the two most powerful nuclear nations should be welcomed by the world fraternity as it can only lead to more conciliation and less confrontation – a fact which a section of the US media finds hard to digest.
There were even calls for his impeachment by the US Congress just because he brought up the issue of Hillary Clinton’s private email server and disappearance of 3300 emails, in response to a question whether he would hold Putin or the FBI responsible for the meddling in 2016 US elections.
The cold war scenario is long gone as the Russian President rightly pointed out, and the US public and media in particular should come to terms with it and forego the habit of making Russia their favourite punching bag and their own President – who has been in office for only 18 months – as a harbinger of all ills that beset their country.
The NATO and Warsaw pact have long-lost their relevance. In fact Poland, where the Warsaw pact was initiated, is now a US ally and a part of the NATO alliance. Apparently, the criticism of the NATO alliance and the EU (European Union) by Trump before his rendezvous with Putin did not go down well with the US media and coming as it did just before Trump had a cozy tete-a-tete with Putin, infuriated the American press in what they perceived as placating an enemy (Russia) at the expense of annoying the NATO allies.
However, the myopic US media has failed to look at the larger picture which emerged from the Summit meeting between the two most nuclearized nations in the world – any effort to cut down the big nuclear arsenal at the disposal of both the superpowers – which the two leaders talked about – would be welcomed by the world. More such meetings and summits between the two superpowers is the only way to resolve conflicts and differences, and President Trump needs to be complimented for starting a dialogue with his nation’s perceived enemy. With the American media, the Democrats and a few of his own Republicans baying for his blood, it would be interesting to see how Trump reacts to this tricky scenario.
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