Monday, February 06, 2017 by JD Heyes
For generations, Americans have been taught to mistrust and even hate Russia, the power base of the former Soviet Union. And during the Cold War, that was justified; it literally was us against them, and the rest of the world could only hope that the U.S. and U.S.S.R. never came to blows, because everyone knew it would end in mutual nuclear annihilation.
But after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Bill Clinton was elected president, the U.S. embarked on a campaign to essentially neglect a Russia that was broke, dispirited and no longer the threat it once was.
NATO, the alliance that was formed to oppose the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, did not dissolve at the close of the Cold War; it was expanded, and new members included countries that had been under the influence of Moscow for decades. In fact, new member nations were added that extended NATO to Russia’s traditional zone of influence, its doorstep.
Needless to say, this rattled and upset a generation of Russian leaders – one of them being Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative who had become a rising star in Russian politics.
Keep in mind that, had the reverse happened and the Warsaw Pact extended to a broke and dispirited America, there is no question that U.S. leaders would have been equally rattled and just as upset at having been taken advantage of with no way to oppose it.
Like it or not, that’s what the U.S. did in the years after the Cold War: It was official policy to press our advantage, largely through the expansion of NATO, against a weakened Russia that could do nothing, militarily or diplomatically, to stop us. And Europe came along for the ride. (RELATED: Stay current with American foreign policy under Trump at NationalSecurity.news)
Now, two decades later, Russia is in a better place, economically and militarily. Putin, a nationalistic and populist leader in the vein of Trump, has been pressing Russia’s newfound advantages in its traditional zones of influence. That’s what the 2008 intervention in Georgia was about, and that’s what Moscow’s involvement in Ukraine is about.
Nonetheless, the attitude among the governing elitist establishment is one of distrust and animosity towards Putin and Russia, even as these same elitists push the Trump administration to continue previous neoconservative policies of endless war and continual conflict.
What’s the point of that? Money: The military-industrial complex is hungry and must constantly be fed. But Trump seems to want to move away from that “business as usual” cycle, which helps explain his desire to have a better working relationship with a country that is well-stocked with nuclear weapons and, frankly, may have a bit of an axe to grind with the U.S. – right or wrong.
For this, Trump has been vilified. His outward displays of respect for Putin have led the hysterically inaccurate establishment media to label him a lackey of Russia who was aided in his electoral victory by Russian propaganda.
Well, he’s about to be vilified anew. Trump was interviewed by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl, in which the president said he had “respect” for Putin.
“I do respect him,” Trump said, prompting an incredulous O’Reilly to ask, “Why?”
“Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them,” Trump said, adding that if Russia helps the U.S in its fight against ISIS and global Islamic terrorism, “that’s a good thing.”
Pressing him, O’Reilly said that Putin “is a killer,” to which Trump responded, honestly, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country is so innocent?”
This will set the establishment off, no doubt, making the liberal Ivy League-educated foreign policy establishment in the State Department and elsewhere even more unhinged. (RELATED: “They” are constantly trying to fool you – keep track of them at Propaganda.news)
But there are questions that are not being asked that should be, namely:
— How come it was okay for the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to launch a “reset” in relations with Russia (which the Obama regime eventually bungled)?;
— How come the same Left-wing foreign policy establishment had no problem with Obama cozying up to an Iranian regime that has regularly and openly threatened the United States?
With these two issues now front and center, how in the world can anyone fault President Trump and his administration for legitimately trying to fix relations with another great power that successive U.S. administrations have exploited and dismissed for 20 years?
Trump told O’Reilly what he has told others regarding Putin: He may or may not get along with the Russian leader. Still, to quote Trump, if the two countries can work together towards a common national security objective, “that’s a good thing.”
Who can honestly argue otherwise?