Trump, Russia & Israel

Trump, Russia & Israel

According to American media, President Trump reportedly leaked the identity of an intelligence source to those whom the NATO war machine — under the unofficial stewardship of that most hawkish of doves, Barrack Obama — has long been trying to recast as enemies of the state. Oh, those Russians.

Not a great week for Trump in the run-up to his upcoming state visit to Israel, which has been confirmed as the source in question. Indeed, if that visit goes ahead. Who can tell? Maybe Interpol will get in on the game and issue an international arrest warrant to bring the apprentice-president to heel, if not to account. After all, it was not that long ago that Trump, albeit prior to this latest reincarnation as the man at the helm of the world’s lone superpower, called for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who blew the whistle on American surveillance programmes, to be executed for very much the same ‘crime’. That is, handing over classified information to Beijing and Moscow. Today, Trump has simply cut out the middle-man.

But in the great scheme of things, is it much ado about not very much? Certainly, in the Pakistani context, Nawaz Sharif should be grateful that he has had to only contend with his own words to the security establishment falling into the hands of one sharp journalist. Imagine the hot water he would be in had he dished the dirt in this way to India, especially about a specific terrorist threat. Then, even the one-size-fits-all mantra of the leak being in the national interest would not have cut it.

Yet in the great scheme of things, Trump’s gross misstep, if that is what it really is, likely won’t amount to much. Already the White House has failed to hand over either transcripts or tapes pertaining to the administration’s dealings with Moscow. This, despite the fact that three separate congressional hearings are investigating this.

Simply put, if American democracy were as strong as it would have the world believe this begs an inevitable question: why has a caretaker government not been put in place while possible treason proceedings are initiated against the president. If, of course, the matter is as serious as everyone would have everyone else believe. Everyone, apart from the media, that is. Trump’s national security team went on record as terming the original Washington Post story as false, even while White House insiders confirmed, on condition of anonymity naturally, that Israel was, indeed, the source. Thus the present furore could, likely, be put on the backburner. Much will depend on Trump’s meeting with the Israeli prime minister. And whether the two sides want to focus on the peace process, or lack thereof. Or whether they prioritise spotlighting Trump’s letting the cat out of the bag to circumvent having to talk Mideast peace. When it comes the self-proclaimed global defender of freedoms on the one hand and an occupying aggressor nation masquerading as the region’s only democracy on the other — all bets can only be off.  *