My phone sounded the notification alarm. As I looked at it, there was an email notification from the New York Times saying "The Times is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous op-ed essay." The very nature of the story as well as the title got me excited. I started reading instantly. The author introduces himself or herself as a White House insider and part of the "resistance" inside the Trump administration whose first duty is to the United States of America. It is commendable to see that this "resistance" is trying to stop Trump from being Trump. However, after reading a few lines, I was confused as to whether it is Trump that is wrong or the person writing the article. Let me explain why.
The piece laments over President Trump's love for autocrats and dictators like Vladimir Putin of Russia and Kim Jong un of North Korea. The laments are confusing because America always had and still has deep love for autocrats, dictators and monarchs around the world. Propping up dictatorships is a signature American foreign policy. Elected leaders around the world including Mossadegh of Iran, Arbenz of Guatemala, Salvador Allende of Chile, Sukarno of Indonesia and so forth have been removed through coups aided and abetted by the United States.
The list of Washington and Langley across the Potomac river making successful and failed coups and assassinations of elected leaders is too long to accommodate in the limited space here. But you get the point. Trump is awful and loathsome, however, truth be told, he has not invaded a country yet, has not assassinated or ordered a coup against an elected leader yet. So, it is confusing as to why the love for dictators is tied to Trump as if it is Trump's signature policy?
The piece critiques Trump's reluctance to punish Russia for the alleged murder of a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England. Trump complained about getting "boxed into further confrontation with Russia." Regardless of how wrong and ridiculous Trump is most of the time, this is not an unreasonable argument. Why should, Russia punishing one of their own in another country, reverberate in America to an extent that Russian diplomats should be expelled? If India kills Kulbhushan Yadav in Pakistan, would America expel Indian diplomats and order the closure of an Indian consulate too? The expulsion orders were issued anyway expelling 60 Russian diplomats and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. The Russians responded with tit-for-tat expulsions of American diplomats and also ordered the closure of the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.
It is noteworthy that only 12 of the 60 Russians expelled were spies. The anonymous piece is fraudulent in that it spins the issue of Russian diplomats in America to make it look like they were all spies by saying that Trump was reluctant to expel "so many of Putin's spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain." This fraudulent sentence makes it sound as though Trump was unwilling to expel Russian (Putin's to be precise) spies. It omits the fact that a small fraction of those Russians were allegedly spies.
The anonymous piece claims that the "resistance" inside the Trump White House believes that their "first duty is to this country." It is a challenge to decipher that phrase given the actions and beliefs of the "resistance" because the piece has laudatory words for some of Trump's actions including "historic tax reform" and a "more robust military." Republicans especially and Trump specifically is a dear friend of corporate America. Reducing taxes on large corporations and rich people while increasing them on the poor and the average of the American society is anything but a "historic tax reform."
Rich corporations – regarded as human beings in America with free speech rights – and CEOs are very happy. The rest? The rest can either go to hell or may be if they have some savings then they can go shopping in the malls where great discounts are offered on the Memorial Day holiday, never mind that many of them don't know what the holiday's history and meaning are. Therefore, it is a little disingenuous to claim that the so called "resistance" believes that its "first duty is to this country" unless by "country" they mean rich corporations (U.S. persons) and not the American people (real flesh and blood). Furthermore, the United States needs "a more robust military" like Afghanistan needs more invasions.
* Pakistan-based political analyst