“In the West, voters cannot change policies through elections, because the ruling elites control whoever is elected. Elections give the appearance of democracy, but voting does not change the policies that favor war and the elites. Therefore, the will of the people is impotent.” Putin, 2017
The administration’s flip-flopping on North Korea is only the latest incident to raise this question.
May 1, 2017
Official Washington, especially its Republican elements, is telling itself a comforting story about the Trump administration.
Senator John McCain summarized the story to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.
“Sometimes it’s important to watch what the president does rather than what he says.” The senator added: “[Trump is] surrounding himself with an outstanding national security team. I can’t guarantee to world leaders that he will always listen to them, but he has so far.” (You can watch the whole interview here.)
McCain’s caution about Trump’s future actions should be worrying enough. But even his assurances about the present ought to be deeply worrying.
The basis for McCain’s Sunday interview was the latest reversal in Trump foreign policy. It’s a bad and troubling story leading up to a supposedly happy ending—but in reality, the ending is not happy at all.
Let’s back up a bit.
To counter the North Korean nuclear missile program, the United States and South Korea are deploying U.S. missile defenses in the peninsula. The parties have agreed that South Korea will contribute the ground for the system; the U.S., the weaponry. The first elements of the missile defense took up positions in March, after four years of sometimes difficult discussions. High on the list of difficulties: