I'd say the NY Times is vastly overstating the situation in reporting that Trump's "head-spinning shift from coziness to confrontation [with Russia] has left Washington and other capitals with a case of geopolitical whiplash." An overstatement indeed, unless domestic and foreign analysts are as haplessly ill logical as Trump & Family & Friends. The gambit the latter are playing is not only a fraud, it's a laughable fraud. Specifically:
For Mr. Trump’s camp, the abrupt turnaround simply proved how false the conspiracy narrative was from the start. "If there was anything that Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie," said Eric Trump, the president’s son.
For FBI investigators, whatever "Syria did" has absolutely nothing to do with validating a past negative — that is, that the Trump campaign never conspired with propaganda-hustling, U.S.-election-corrupting Russians. The one — a military strike on Syria — bears no relationship to the other — an erstwhile conspiracy to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.
It's the Trump camp's "narrative" that's transparently "false" and characteristically sophistic. But, falsehoods and sophism are what define the ghastly phenomenon of Trumpism, so they present no real surprise — notwithstanding their rather shocking amateurishness.
There is some amusement to be had, though, in President Vladimir Putin's being had (or so it would seem). He's pouting, refusing to see our inescapably befuddled secretary of state. The punchline, though, comes from Vladimir's colleague, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, who is "suggest[ing] that Mr. Trump has turned out not to be what he presented himself to be during last year’s campaign."
Welcome, Dimitri and Vlad, to the massively populated, experiential world of "I-Got-Fucked-By-Trump." Has the Donald ever had a business associate whom he didn't roll, swindle and screw?
Still, a certain ambiguity abounds in what lies ahead — especially what may come from our own authoritarian thug. On that, I'll let my political golden boy and possible 2020 presidential candidate have the last word, as did the NY Times. Trump's Russia oscillations "[speak] to the broader incoherence of this administration’s foreign policy," said Sen. Chris Murphy. "The change in rhetoric on Russia is head-spinning. I’m glad to see it and I hope it continues, but so far the only thing we know about this administration’s foreign policy is that it will probably change in a week or two."