The governments of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, if their countries are to survive, must give up their deluded hopes of reaching agreements with the United States. No such possibility exists on terms that the countries can accept.
American foreign policy rests on threat and force. It is guided by the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, a doctrine that is inconsistent with accepting the sovereignty of other countries. The only way that Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea can reach an agreement with Washington is to become vassals like the UK, all of Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia.
The Russians -- especially the naive Atlanticist Integrationists -- should take note of the extreme hostility, indeed, to the point of insanity, directed at the Helsinki meeting across the entirety of the American political, media, and intellectual scene. Putin is incorrect that US-Russian relations are being held hostage to an internal US political struggle between the two parties. The Republicans are just as insane and just as hostile to President Trump's effort to improve American-Russian relations as the Democrats, as Donald Jeffries reminds us.
The American right-wing is just as opposed as the left-wing. Only a few experts, such as Stephen Cohen and Amb. Jack Matlock, President Reagan's ambassador to the Soviet Union, have spoken out in support of Trump's attempt to reduce the dangerous tensions between the nuclear powers. Only a few pundits have explained the actual facts and the stakes.
There is no support for Trump's agenda of peace with Russia in the US foreign policy arena. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, spoke for them all when he declared that "We must deal with Putin's Russia as the rogue state it is."
Russia is a "rogue state" simply because Russia does not accept Washington's over-lordship. Not for any other reason.
There is no support even in Trump's own government for normalizing relations with Russia unless the neoconservative definition of normal relations is used. By normal relations, neoconservatives mean a vassal state relationship with Washington. That, and only that, is "normal." Russia can have normal relations with America only on the basis of this definition of normal. Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge this fact.
A lie repeated over and over becomes a fact. That is what has happened to Russiagate. Despite the total absence of any evidence, it is now a fact in America that Putin himself put Trump in the Oval Office. That Trump met with Putin at Helsinki is considered proof that Trump is Putin's lackey, as the New York Times and many others now assert as self-evident. That Trump stood next to "the murderous thug Putin" and accepted Putin's word that Russia did not interfere in the election of the US president is regarded as double proof that Trump is in Putin's pocket and that the Russiagate story is true.
We can see now why neoconservative John Bolton arranged the Helsinki meeting. It set Trump up for political execution by the media and Congress, both controlled by the military/security complex. In the United States there is zero independence, with the exception of Tucker Carlson, in the print and TV media, and zero independence in Congress. These are controlled institutions, and Tucker will not be tolerated much longer.
The lie of Russian interference is now so firmly established that even the Open Letter published in The Nation and signed by luminaries such as Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, and Gloria Steinem states: "We must reach common ground to safeguard common interests -- taking steps to protect the nation's elections and to prevent war between the world's two nuclear superpowers." Even the most lucid Americans have to accept Russiagate as a fact and regard protecting our elections as important as preventing nuclear war.
There is no meaningful support in the Republican or Democratic party for Trump's agenda of normalizing US/Russian relations. The combination of a lie made into truth and the power of political campaign combinations from the military/security complex suffice to stifle any support for normalizing relations with Russia. Any US Senator or Representative who supports Trump's effort to remove Russia from the enemy category will find themselves confronted in their re-election with well-financed opponents declaring them to be traitors who supported Trump's sell-out of America, while their own campaign contributions dry up.
The American people who are not on the military/security payroll or otherwise dependent on this powerful lobby support peace and elected Trump for that reason, only to discover that a president who stands for peace with Russia is branded a traitor.
It has happened many times before. For example, in his history, The First World War, A. J. P. Taylor explained that all efforts to stop the disastrous war that destroyed Europe were blocked by smearing "as a defeatist, a pacifist, probably a traitor, every advocate of peace, or even of moderation." As Taylor writes, the "top hats" wanted the money, and the "cloth hats" paid for it with their lives.
What we are experiencing is that democracy is weak and dysfunctional when confronted with powerful lobbies capable of controlling explanations. In America the control over explanations is so complete that the vast majority live in The Matrix.