Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
For over two years after the election of Trump in 2016, all the media obsessed about was Trump’s alleged collusion (or whatever it was) with Russia. Now since that narrative has been blown out of the water by none other than their patron saint- Robert Mueller- we have moved onto Ukraine and a telephone conversation between two world leaders.
With regards to the Russian collusion hoax, one overlooked fact is how this concerted effort by people like Comey, Brennan and Clapper egged on by #Resistance congresscritters like Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler and supported by a compliant media has made the world a less safe place. It is not because of people like President Trump this is so, although they and their foreign counterparts will tell you otherwise. It is because as the Trump administration was hounded and harassed for over two years, considerable attention has been diverted away from real foreign policy threats.
Nowhere is this seen more than in the Democrat’s clown car of a nomination process. They have formed a Pavlovian reflex when it comes to Russia. Ask any of them for a policy towards Russia and they will invariably bring up election interference or the “Trump is a Putin stooge” trope. OntheIssues has asked the candidates about Russia and all speak not of a policy, but of Russian election interference. What they do not talk about is the continued Russian presence in Ukraine, trouble in the Balkans, the occupation of Crimea, and gas pipelines. Have we heard anything about Russia’s militarization of the Arctic region, of their tight relationship with Saudi Arabia to set oil prices, or their development of weapons systems to evade US ABM systems? Is there any word on arms control?
Another survey showed that 12 of 15 Democrat candidates wanted to cut defense spending to pay for pet domestic projects. How exactly would these Democrats who wish to be president deal with a Russian puppet state in Africa? What if Russia swallowed up Belarus? Would they twiddle their thumbs and make tough statements about Russia closed the North Sea route to US shipping?
The past three presidents wrote off Russia as a waning regional power. Unfortunately, if press reports are to be believed, according to the Democrats Russia is no friend and perhaps our biggest enemy. Even more unfortunate, they have created an atmosphere where Trump is impotent to deal with Russia’s growing aggressiveness.
Some think tanks have noted that there are three key flash points in the world currently for military conflict escalating. The first is, of course, eastern Ukraine. The second is in the Balkans and the third is the eastern Mediterranean Sea. All three have one common denominator- Russia.
Because of this hamstringing the Trump administration in dealing with Russia, many military and foreign policy analysts believe the world is now a more dangerous place. Even at the height of the Cold War, leaders between the former Soviet Union and the United States talked more regularly than they do now. During his tenure as head of NATO forces in Europe, General Scaparotti has met only twice with his Russian counterpart. This is disheartening considering that the US and Russia control 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.
In response to Russian actions in Georgia, Ukraine and the Crimea, Congress passed a law severely limiting military cooperation with Russia. The law has since been amended to allow cooperation to avoid potential conflicts. The sanctions placed on Russia by Congress in response to election interference and other acts (poisoning people with radioactive materials) are contingent upon good behavior by Russia in the international realm.
Suppose that tomorrow Putin decided to pull every Russian out of Ukraine, withdrew troops from Syria, apologized and made amends to the Tatars in Crimea and admitted some complicity by Russian actors in election interference abroad. Would sanctions be lifted? Would Trump be allowed to lift the sanctions? Of course, we all know the answer: he did it because he is Putin’s puppet and he fell for Putin’s ruse.
John McCain once described Russia as just a large gas station. He ignored the fact that most gas stations do not have nuclear weapons and they usually do not invade neighboring convenience stores. To be sure, the Russian economy was slogging along before the drop in energy prices and US sanctions. And here is the biggest rub: if you really want to hurt Putin and his oligarch cronies, you hit them where it hurts- in their wallet and their wallet is 59% energy revenues.
Russia depends on energy exports and to export that energy, they need pipelines. One proposed pipeline- Nordstream 2- would double the flow of natural gas from Russia to Germany. It would be lucrative for Rosneft, a company currently sanctioned by the US. Russia would bypass Ukraine in delivering that natural gas. And guess what? The very man that Russia worked so hard to get elected in 2016 according to Democrats- Donald Trump- absolutely hates Nordstream 2.
At least three times publicly, President Trump has denounced the pipeline. Yet Nordstream 2 is an enormous, lucrative-for-Russia, and unexplained hole in the “Trump is a Putin puppet” meme. If he was this puppet of Putin, why would he be gleefully proposing denying the man pulling his strings much-needed revenue? As the former ambassador to Russia, Robert McFaul, said, Russia needs more money than Germany needs gas.
But, then there is the Democrat’s twist. If Europe and Germany do not get Russian gas, then they have to get it somewhere else and that “somewhere” is LNG from the United States. That, too, is bad because LNG is a fossil fuel and climate change and all that. In this scenario, game theorists will tell you that all this noise and cost to Russia who has to pay transmission fees to Ukraine if Nordstream 2 is not built is just an elaborate ploy by Trump to distract you from what is really going on.
If Trump is in Putin’s pocket, why has he expanded Obama-era sanctions? Why is Trump trying to deny a Russian economy on life support much needed oxygen through Nordstream 2? Actions speak louder than words.
Trump and Putin have an admittedly bizarre relationship. But, they have three things in common: (1) they are straightforward, (2) they demand loyalty, and (3) they are sensitive control freaks. Putting the two together is obviously not without its risks. In short, both like to cut through bullshit by using bullshit.
However, to the Democrats the mere mention of a Putin-Trump summit or talk is off the table. Remember the uproar that evolved after they met in Helsinki. Recall just recently the uproar over Trump considering an invitation to a V-E parade in Moscow mischaracterized as a “May Day parade.”
This is what Trump, as the duly elected President of the United States, is up against. You want to see a liberal Democrat’s head explode? Invite Putin for an overnight stay in the Lincoln bedroom in the White House. If it involves Russia or Putin, immediately #TheResistance’s ears perk up and they go into rhetorical overdrive. Their counterparts among the NeverTrumpers will appear on television with their “aha!” moments.
No matter what area of we speak of in the world be it Africa, China, Central Asia, the Middle East, Venezuela, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, North Korea or the Mediterranean Sea, Russia is there either as a major player, or in the background. Benign ignorance will not make them go away, nor will Obama’s “strategic patience,” whatever the hell that means.
Hamstringing a President will only embolden Russia and Putin. This proves once again that the Democrats, #The Resistance, and #NeverTrump crowd are making the world a more dangerous place.