Just to say, Trump's upcoming meeting with Putin may or may not be significant, beyond the fact that it is occurring at all is already significant. That it is occurring at all underscores the fact that Putin is having it all his way. He's got Crimea, and has pretty much dissolved the Ukrainian nation state, pretending all the while it never existed. He's got Brexit and is making progress toward tearing apart the sinews of the EU.
And he's got Trump. Whatever the Mueller investigation turns up about the details, so far as the big picture goes, he's got Trump (not to mention all the little Trumps — Orban, Le Pen etc.)
As the Emperor intoned in Star Wars: Everything is going exactly according to plan.
And may I, in passing, recommend unsubscribing from The Nation?
Once an organ of literate left-liberal opinion, it has been utterly Putinified, and is now an American house organ of Putin opinion. Yes, there are occasional good pieces by the likes of Eric Alterman and Katha Pollit and the republishing of work by the superb Vivian Gornick, but these are no more than embellishments. The orientation of the Nation now should be defined by the arguments of Steven Cohen, husband to Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher.
According to both, all the conflicts between Russia and the West since the Fall of Communism are the fault of the West.
Putin couldn't have said it better himself. For him, Russia, the home of the Rus, that great fount of the peoples of EurAsia, is eternally and by definition innocent.
The art of Russian propaganda lost none of its potency or zeal or skill with the fall of Communism. It only lost its adherence to a Communist alternative, which was if anything a drag.
Minus fealty to Communism, the arts of disinformation, honed in the Cold War, what with cyber war etc., become ever more sophisticated.
Disinformation and dissolution for their own sake.
Bring down the West.
It's all going exactly according to plan.