Al Seymour

Trump and Putin to meet in climate of deception

  • Low expectations: not much can be expected from next Trump-Putin meeting other than statements of how well the talks went

The world will be watching with curiosity an upcoming meeting of US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin this month.

It comes on the heels of that infamous summit Trump had in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, which is yet to be fully assessed.

Both Trump and Putin have reputations for bulldozing through their agendas with little or no respect for opposing views.

It cannot be avoided that Russia has been accused of meddling with the election process in the United States, and that most Americans are convinced it helped Trump to capture the White House.

The general consensus is that Russian agents instigated a smear campaign against Hillary Clinton to swing votes towards Trump. Those allegations remain very much under investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller. Trump, who continues to deny any collusion between his campaign and Russia, has bashed the American press for stories on this subject.

Trump’s onslaught against the press has caused many to accuse him of adopting a dictatorial posture. People have a right to be concerned about Putin, who has ruled Russia with a powerful hand.

It is no secret that many journalists in that country have paid dearly for exposing truth. It has been well documented that some who opposed Putin met very unpleasant consequences.

A former head of the KGB, the Russian secret service, Putin is skilled in dealing with those who oppose his government, both in and outside the country.

Meanwhile Trump has been swimming upstream, in a rushing tide of allegations and scandals, along with mass protest across that nation, over his immigration policies, which resulted in children being separated from their parents.

This struck a nerve with both Republicans and Democrats. Many Americans are troubled that Trump once said he could shoot someone in Times Square, New York, and not lose any votes.

Even more scary is the fact that after many outlandish statements, his base support clings to him like crazy glue. Even after the Charlottesville incident, when extremist groups raging with hatred, stormed the area leaving one person dead, Trump was reluctant to condemn such conduct, claiming there were bad people on both sides.

To this day many Americans wonder where he really stands with extremist groups that threaten democracy.

Political observers have expressed grave reservations over objectives of the upcoming summit, especially knowing both men are not noted for having close ties with truth.

The summit could boil down to what these two fail to discuss, rather than what they actually talk about. In fact, some observers see the exercise as a major publicity stunt that, for a brief moment, will detract from Trump’s gathering storm of troubles back home, as midterm elections loom.

When Trump, prior to meeting Kim Jong Un, said he expected wonderful things to happen, there was scepticism globally among observers who felt Trump was not in step with reality.

With the ink hardly dry on any agreement out of that summit, reports have surfaced that there has been no halt to North Korea’s expanding nuclear programme. If that proves true, the very purpose for the summit has failed. Dictatorial regimes seldom concede to anyone. The world is always hoping for nations to work with more transparency in trying to keep this planet a safe place. However, reality dictates that dubious political motives often remain a stumbling block. Not much can be expected from the Trump-Putin meeting, outside crafty statements of how well the talks went.

The world’s media will be hard pressed to probe for specifics, to keep people on both sides informed. The truth will not be easy to uncover in a climate of deception, especially when Trump has already labelled the America press as the enemy of the people.

The greatest struggle for America at the moment, is to keep the nation from sliding into dictatorial rule amid widening cracks in its democracy. The free press must never drop its guard in the endeavour to keep truth out front.