By: Ken Willette – Feb. 2019
The Left’s unsubstantiated theories on Trump’s cozy relationship with Mother Russia have reached a boiling point. It is as if they haven’t fully recovered from the deep psychological wounds of the 2016 campaign, or the fact that Trump is still their president despite their late-night rants on social media. Ironically, many leftists have had an often naive history of appeasement with the Soviet Union, her satellite states and now Russia. They have praised revolutions in both Russia and Cuba.
Some of the college kids still wear Che Guevara t-shirts, without skipping a beat and without knowing his vicious history of political violence. I find it pathetic that liberals suddenly label Trump as a commie or Putin’s puppet, especially since Putin achieved major foreign policy successes under Obama’s watch after the 2012 presidential elections.
First of all, many leftists certainly have selective amnesia when it comes to Mitt Romney’s warning back in 2012 about Putin. Obama openly ridiculed Romney for saying at the time that “Russia is our biggest geopolitical foe.” He dismissed Romney’s quote as a dangerous relic of an outdated Cold War mentality. Of course, Romney was right, but why let that powerful assessment get in the way of the present day liberal narrative? You see, Obama wanted greater ‘flexibility’ with Putin after 2012.
Little did the world realize, until it was too late, the level of weakness and incompetence that the Obama flexibility approach would actually encompass. Or that his failures would diminish our standing in the world and, conversely, empower Putin.
For example, Obama contradicted his own ‘red line’ declaration and refused to launch air strikes on Assad in Syria, an ally of Russia, even after his usage of chemical weapons against innocent civilians. When Obama wrongly dismissed ISIS as a JV team and allowed them to gain significant ground in the Middle East, surprise, surprise, Putin used ISIS as a pretext to station more and more combat troops in Syria.
Another historic military ally of Russia, Iran also gained ground under Obama with a questionable nuke deal. Even after Iran immediately proceeded to violate numerous UN Resolutions regarding ballistic missile testing, Obama did nothing to reinstitute sanctions or derail the agreement. Can anyone realistically say that Putin had not gained more influence in Middle Eastern affairs in the absence of US moral leadership during Obama’s second term?
Obama watched helplessly as Putin annexed Crimea. This action sent shockwaves throughout Europe and the independent nations adjacent to Russia. But Obama refused to even sell weapons for Ukraine to defend itself. He ignored the wishes of Poland, which sought to purchase Patriot defensive missiles. During Obama’s second term, he actually reduced US defense spending and ignored North Korea.
What was Obama hoping to accomplish with flexibility toward Putin? Putin is a former KGB agent who has effectively suffocated political opposition, enriched his circle of oligarch friends and sanctioned attacks on members of the GLBTQ Russian community. Obama even opened up relations with Cuba, another friend of Russia, even though Cuba was not obligated in kind to change its regime to allow free elections and restore political dissent.
And despite accusations that Trump has had ‘friendly’ chats with Putin, the president has reversed or countermanded many of Obama’s policies relative to Russia and her ‘autocratic’ allies. He has revoked the Iran nuke deal and reapplied sanctions. Does anyone need a refresher course that Iran funds terrorist groups that are in conflict with our interests? Trump has sold arms to Ukraine and Patriot missiles to Poland.
He reversed Obama in Cuba. He is holding NATO members directly accountable for increasing their defense spending. He is rebuilding the US military and modernizing our nuclear deterrent. Trump also increased sanctions and froze additional assets in Venezuela, another failed socialist state where Putin has made substantial inroads into its energy industry.
Aren’t liberals in favor of sanctions as opposed to direct military action? Trump is incorporating the effective tool of sanctions, as the world’s leading economy, to clamp down on autocratic regimes that continue to violate human rights. But somehow, somewhere Trump is kowtowing to Putin’s tyranny. Huh??? And let’s not forget that Trump has successfully applied the most comprehensive sanctions in history against North Korea, despite the strong objections of Russia. And how does Trump flooding the world marketplace with surplus US oil and natural gas, thus lowering prices, help with Russia’s corrupt coffers? News Flash— all of these above mentioned actions by the Trump administration adversely impact Putin!
Based on all of Obama’s foreign policy mistakes and disasters, would I identify Obama as a Russian lackey or just really weak in foreign affairs? Using the twisted logic of the Left, what conclusions would someone draw? I, for one, would rather wait for concrete evidence rather than engage in unproven speculation—unlike many on the Left.
I will definitely say that Obama was fundamentally weak and factually wrong many times relative to Putin’s motives and actions during his second term. The United States is still recovering from the global ramifications of this historically flawed strategy. It may take many years to restore our military strength and credibility with our democratic allies. Sadly, many liberals are more worried about shadow conspiracies rather than confronting Putin in a unified front. Isn’t that what Putin ultimately wants:–Americans questioning their own president with a wild, mob-like fury based on zero facts?
Hey, my liberal friends, you can’t say conservatives didn’t warn you about Putin! ◊