There is no doubt that the world needs to have a peaceful relationship shared amongst the most powerful countries. However, at this point in time there is a major element of distrust. This distrust is given more credibility when leaders give different answers depending on the audience. For peace purposes these mixed messages are not helpful. Neither is it helpful to use strongman tactics just to get your own way. At present this is exactly what we have taking place with Trump and Putin.
For Trump, this reality of being president is like a child in a sandbox. Everyone is waiting for the next temper tantrum via twitter. What he says has no bearing on what he believes or does. Sometimes those three things are all completely different. Trump has discreditted himself more times than anyone can actually recall. This puts people in a position where we are shaking our heads wondering what the hell is going on, other than complete idiocy.
Then there is Putin, the classic example of strongman politics. For Putin he is in charge of a country that is deeply integrated with his power structures. What is troubling here is that such power structures usually lead to a violent transition from one leader to the next. In this case though there is a safety valve in the mix with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. With this avenue there exist a person who has already been president and has a credible resume to transition from Putin.
Both Trump and Putin have issues of trust to deal with. Both are leaders of countries which forced other countries to bend to their will. The history books are there to read the realities of such actions. However, there is little we can do about past actions. What we are left with is blunt truth.
So here we are with everyone knowing that peace is better than war, we are face to face with how to get to that peace? Had Trump and Putin met as they did and in the media session put out a statement such as this:
“The history of our two countries relationship has been a very troubled one. Even to this hour there are events that cause both of us to be concerned for our own peace. Today, at this very minute we are committed to building stronger relations. We are going to sort out the many issues we face as we build for a greater global peace reality. The era of our fight with eachother is over. Today we begin the more difficult work of actually working together for a peaceful world.”
Such a statement would have been met with great fanfare. However a different media statement was given and once again we are left with frustration, even though the above statement would have said the exact samething as what was actually said. Of course that is the difference between a statesman and Trump. Putin just had to stand there and hand Trump back his balls.
There is a great benefiit to the world if world leaders could focus on peace rather than destroying eachother. At this point in time Trump is not able to be a peaceful leader and Putin has his own personal power dynamics to weave to worry about the rest of the world. As far as he is concerned, he just won a major battle.