I am deeply touched by the sudden progressive concern for the security of the United States. Most of the same people now screaming "RUSSIA!" and accusing President-elect Trump of being the Siberian Candidate, historically have opposed a strong US military, opposed efforts to fight Soviet Communism, laughed at "a Red under every bed" as paranoia, derided the CIA as murderers and coup-plotters, wanted immediate US nuclear disarmament, made fun of Romney's concerns about Russia, defended Hillary's use of an insecure server, and, well, lots more--you can fill it in. They also have opposed strong US border defense, and an immigration policy to protect us from foreign jihadis, rapists, murderers, and urban criminal gangs. Obama, the ultimate political expression of the progressive world view, gutted the US military, instructed our intel and enforcement agencies to focus on "climate change," ordered them to downplay the illegal alien and jihadi threats, tried to politicize them and shape them into extensions of the DNC (see DOJ, IRS and EPA, for example). He, in sum, turned them into purveyors of the usual progressive nonsense that has gotten us into our current socio-political-economic fix, and, by the way, led to the election of Donald Trump.
OK, let's turn to Putin and Russia. I wrote some time ago that,
It does not require a genius to see what is happening in the post-USA world of the Obamistas. Other actors, many of them ruthless opponents of Western values of democracy and liberty, are stepping in to fill the power vacuum and reshape the world--and do it while laughing at us. Of these actors, Putin is the most determined and committed to reforming the globe into a place much less congenial for those Western values, and much friendlier to Russia's rise to the top. His plan is exceedingly simple. No Snowden-like revelations required. Taking advantage of the weakness and self-loathing of the Obama misadministration, Putin is out to neutralize Europe and make it into an economic resource for Russia, e.g., gas sales, investments, access to high tech, and to ease the US out of the picture. NATO is to be seen for what it increasingly has become, to wit, a joke.I also noted in another 2014 piece that,
Russia almost always, if not always, has been on the edge of Western consciousness. Before anybody gets offended, there is no doubt about the greatness of Russia's contributions to the hard sciences, literature, theater, and music. Russia for numerous reasons, however, never has been fully a part of Western civilization. Starting with Peter the Great, Russia's Tsars made on-and-off, and usually half-hearted efforts to become part of the West. Those rulers were attracted to the wealth, power, and technological advancement of the West, but had little to no interest in adopting Western ideas of democracy and, especially, liberty which made that wealth, power, and technology possible. There seemed always a dark, conspiratorial, even piratical tone to Russia's relations with the West: we seeing Russia, not unreasonably, as a crude, obscurantist, dangerous bogeyman, and Russia viewing the West, not always inaccurately, as looking down on Russia and intent on preventing it from finding its rightful "place in the sun." Russia's attempts to find this "place in the sun," of course, ran into notable obstacles such as Japan's own quest for that sunny spot which generated a massive defeat for Tsarist efforts to become a major force in Asia and the Pacific, and, lest we forget, World War I which ended the Tsars and served as midwife for the even more horrid Bolshevik rule.That, in my humble view, still proves an accurate assessment today. Russia is a big, important country, with a significant military and intelligence capability. It is governed, unfortunately, by some, ahem, very difficult people such as Vladimir Putin, who have no love or respect for democratic norms--in fairness, however, we should note more freedom exists in Russia under Putin than did in the USSR under the progs beloved Gorbachov. Russia's leaders, above all, are Russian nationalists full of resentment for the West's alleged failure to take Russian interests seriously. That said, Russia is much weaker and less dangerous than the old Soviet Union, and beset by enormous economic and demographic problems which undermine its ability, even without Western opposition, to find its "place in the sun."
We must realize, of course, that even under the best of circumstances and the best of intentions on our part, relations with Russia most likely will prove difficult. They will become even more difficult if the left's current obsession with undermining any approach to Russia continues. I can't help but think that this leftist obsession with trying to undermine Trump's ability to deal with Russia is linked, at least in part, to the fact that Russia is no longer Communist. The progs liked Communism, whatever they might claim now. That Russia loudly proclaims itself a Christian power and makes no secret of its politically incorrect animosity to jihadi Islam, has won Moscow no friends among Western progs.
How to deal with Russia? It does not involve labeling Putin and Russia as war criminals, especially since the story about what happened in Aleppo seems to be changing; the information provided by progressive folk heroes such as the "White Helmets" is coming into question. We can deal with Russia, as I stated before, by ensuring our own energy independence, having a reinvigorated and highly lethal military force, and showing less willingness to listen to the Europeans, who, with the exception of the British, have a remarkable track record of being wrong on almost every major issue for the past three hundred years. We should keep in mind that Russia has intel capabilities that it will use against us, and must be willing and able to use ours against Russia, as needed. In addition, as noted before, we frack, we stand by Israel and the Kurds, and we strengthen our military and our domestic economy. With Russia we deal on narrow, very concrete issues, and we should do OK, unless the Russians prove more irrational than I think.
For example, Russia and the US could reach an accommodation on the Middle East and on Eastern Europe that does not threaten the interests of either country or sell out our allies such as Israel and Poland. Israel, please note, is seeking better relations with Russia. Improved relations between Russia and the USA would, it seems, serve also as a counter to Chinese aspirations to become a superpower. These are not bad things. If we can achieve some of them, that's good for us and the West. The odds are against, but . . . .
To the progs, it is time to give it a rest. One proven foreign intervention in our politics came from Mexico. If you are really concerned about our sovereignty, focus on that.