Days in advance of Thursday's meeting with businessman turned president Donald Trump, and the experienced, duplicitous, ex KGB thug Vladimir Putin (Russia's neoimperialist master for 17 years) most of the destroy Trump Democrat propaganda media had already decided that the President was "boxed in," woefully unprepared and at a huge disadvantage to engage in such talks; that he'd be no match for Putin (the world's most powerful man*); that he'd be the lightweight in the room with Putin dominating and humiliating him and emerging the big winner just like Nikita "bury the US" Khrushchev crushed John Kennedy in Vienna decades ago. Indeed, the fix was in: nothing short of Donald Trump doing to Putin what he did to CNN in the mock wrestling video (body slamming him to the ground and punching him silly) would have satisfied Democrats and MSM that Trump bested Putin and freed himself of all suspicion that the Kremlin had something incriminating on him.
But after Thursday's meeting it is now clear there were no winners or losers; that Trump was no cowed, defeated, badly shaken JFK; that Putin was no humiliated Gorbachev with the US President walking out on him. In short, Hamburg was neither Vienna for one nor Reykjavik for the other. It is clear that the two ultra nationalist leaders respected each other as equals and their competitive goals of making America and Russia great again; and to that end they rose above the insane partisan media frenzy of conspiratorial nonsense and formed a détente of sorts (a working relationship) agreeing to coöperate in certain areas like in Syria where they declared a cease-fire; and to compete peacefully in the economic, energy and geopolitical arenas.
Indeed, what is crystal clear is that Trump again has defied predictions of failure by the naysaying enemy media and radical Trump hating Left; and that his meeting with Putin towered above JFK's terrible ordeal with Khrushchev. Indeed, if Kennedy's meeting with Khrushchev went like Trump's with Putin the course of American and world history might have been different; but before I get into that a comparison between Donald Trump and the great liberal icon JFK is in order:
Like JFK Donald Trump was born into great wealth.
Like JFK Donald Trump comes from a northeastern state.
Like JFK Donald Trump won the presidency on November 8th with just over 300 electoral votes*.
*Trump won 304 electoral votes Kennedy 303.
Like JFK Donald Trump succeeded a popular two term president of the opposing party.
Like JFK Donald Trump inherited from his predecessor a worsening conflict with Russia and weak economy.
Like JFK's meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna Donald Trump met with the leader of Russia in the second 100 days of his presidency.
And apart from both men being effective, charismatic communicators, believers in the superiority of Western Civilization, and in the efficacy of tax cuts for stimulating economic growth, that is where the likeness ends.
Indeed, the time leading up to their meetings with the two Russian leaders is what made the one a dangerous failure and the other a success where JFK earned Khrushchev's contempt and Donald Trump Putin's respect.
Taking JFK first: because of the Bay of Pigs disaster Kennedy dealt with Khrushchev from a position of weakness not strength; the brutal intimidating Khrushchev saw Kennedy as the opposite of his predecessor: World War II hero Dwight Eisenhower; Kennedy for Khrushchev was a young, weak, gutless, inexperienced bungler - an ill prepared, incompetent amateur - who could be taken though he'd been a congressman for 13 years. And their meeting confirmed everything Khrushchev believed about Kennedy, to the detriment of East-West relations and world peace.
Indeed, the consequences of that diplomatic Bay of Pigs was an emboldened Khrushchev increasing Cold War tensions by first ordering (just two months after Vienna) the construction of the Berlin Wall (which he feared to do with Ike); and then one year later recklessly upping the ante by moving nuclear missiles into Cuba, which nearly led to nuclear war. And between those two events what did Kennedy do to reverse Vienna and prove himself to Khrushchev? He decided (as he told NY Times reporter James Reston) to draw the line against communist aggression in South East Asia. Consequently, before he died JFK significantly increased our military presence in Vietnam from 900 military advisers in 1961 to 16,000 military personnel embedded with So. Vietnamese forces; and he had CIA special ops leading raids into Vietnam from Laos and flying helicopter gunships on combat missions. This slippery slope of escalation would continue under LBJ and tear this country apart for a generation.
But in Trump's six month buildup to his meeting with Putin he won the Russian strongman's respect by doing and achieving the following things which have diminished Russia's economic, military and geopolitical power:
1. Attacking a Syrian military air base in retaliation for Assad's deadly use of chemical weapons (with Putin's approval and complicity) on innocent men, women and children.
2. The downing by an F-18 of a Russian made Syrian jet showing hostile intent while US and coalition forces were fighting ISIS terrorists near Raqqa (see). This provoked Putin to issue warnings against future attacks (see).
3. The historic rallying in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia of over 50 Sunni Moslem states in an alliance to destroy ISIS and bring down radical Islamic terrorist Iran-Russia's most important economic, military and strategic partner in the region.
4. The substantial increase in NATO defense spending due to the "Trump Effect" as praised by NATO's Secretary General Stoltenberg at the White House in April (see).
5. Supporting Montenegro's entry into NATO over Putin's strong objections and warnings (see)
6. Negotiating US natural gas and coal sales to Poland, Romania, Hungry and other Eastern European countries to free them from dependence on Russia that could cost it billions in desperately needed energy revenues (see)*.
*Trump's commitment to unleash America's $50 trillion energy potential and turn us into a fossil fuel HYPERPOWER has already cost Russia billions by driving down oil, coal and natural gas prices (see).
7. The sale to Poland of a Patriot Missile Defense System reversing Obama's canceling of the sale in 2009 to appease Vladimir Putin (see).
And 8. Trump's pro-Western Reaganesque anti-Russian speech in Poland (the most anti-Russian of European countries), which couldn't have pleased Putin.
Indeed, unlike Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs fiasco which set the stage for the Vienna disaster, the Berlin Wall, Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War Donald Trump committed eight known anti-Russian actions (what has he done covertly?) which won Putin's respect - while making total idiots of a radical partisan press that portrays him as Putin's colluding puppet and predicted an ass kissing marionette show in Hamburg.
Hell! If JFK had been as tough on Russia as Trump had been in the lead up to Hamburg he would have commanded Khrushchev's respect at Vienna; and there would have been no Berlin Wall, no Cuban Missile Crisis nearly causing a nuclear war; and there might not have been a Vietnam War (and its 50,000 dead US troops) causing much of the chaos and social turmoil of the late 1960s.
In sum, judging from Donald Trump's and JFK's first 170 days it appears that Trump has the hapless, unfortunate, feckless JFK beat; and is on his way to becoming a far better and more effective leader on the world stage for defending freedom, justice, Western Civilization and the American way.