Barack Obama is riding off on a wave of glory. The media is pushing the narrative that Obama really was the Messiah—and thus that the media was right, the American people notwithstanding.
And the same media have been peddling the story that Donald Trump is the Antichrist. Thus must mean that they are looking forward to the Second Coming of Christ… after they destroy the Antichrist.
As always, all good things are to the credit of Barack Obama. All bad things are the fault of Republicans, whether Trump or G. W. Bush.
It is such a flagrant lie that it rates with the notion that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified presidential candidate in American history. Anyone who believed that suffers from a thought disorder.
Today, the national hue and cry is directed against Russia. Obama spent eight years ceding authority and power to Russia (and to China, if you wish). The picture of an all-powerful Russia—one that was pulling the strings in the American election by manipulating a weakened American mind-- makes clear that Obama yielded to Russia, just as he yielded to Iran and just as he let the Chinese do what they wanted. Attacks on Russia show that Obama made Russia powerful.
Incidentally, how did it happen that, according to this scenario, the American mind is so easily manipulated?
And now Obama’s supporters are insisting that Donald Trump get into a fight with Russia. They have been attacking Rex Tillerson for being soft on Russia. Mostly, this is coming from the left, the same left that cheered Barack Obama’s retreat from world leadership. Though naturally, John McCain and Lindsey Graham have hopped on the bandwagon.
Where Trump seems to be reviving the policy of détente, even Republicans like Marco Rubio are beating the drums for toughness against Russia. For the record, Rubio’s mindless insistence that prospective Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declare Vladimir Putin a war criminal tells us that many people seriously overestimated the political savvy of Marco Rubio. Can you imagine an American Secretary of State making his opening gambit in a negotiation with Putin the statement that Putin is a war criminal?
Anyway, the long knives are out for Donald Trump. Leftist forces have been in overdrive trying to discredit his election and to undermine his administration… even before it starts. It tells us that however much Barack Obama was courtly and eloquent and reasonable in his own comportment, he was ultimately a divisive president.
Anyway, the other night on Tucker Carlson’s show, many of us saw a conversation between Tucker and Stephen Cohen. See this link also. Cohen is a retired academic, an expert on Russia, who often writes for The Nation—which is not a publication of the alt-right. As it happens, Cohen is married to Katrina vanden Heuvel, the publisher of The Nation.
Cohen believes that Trump wants to pursue a policy of détente toward Russia, a policy that was first practiced by Richard Nixon,that was denounced but eventually revived by Ronald Reagan. But, he says that certain forces do not want this to happen and are trying to delegitimize the Trump administration in order to produce a new Cold War. Moreover, Cohen suggests, those who are blaming Putin are trying to find someone to blame for the failure of the Obama administration foreign policy.
In a previous article Cohen claimed that we should direct our efforts against Radical Islamist terrorism and not at Russia. He might have also singled out the dimwits who want to fight climate change and who submit to Islam. The Obama administration has gotten itself far more lathered up over Islamophobia than it has over Islamist terrorism.
Anyway, it is worth our while to examine Cohen’s take on the current dustup about Russia, beginning with the leaked Buzzfeed allegations. Cohen sees a campaign to undermine the Trump presidency and to produce a new Cold War:
Two conflicting interpretations are suggested, says Cohen. Either Trump is about to become a potentially seditious American president. Or powerful US forces are trying to destroy his presidency before it begins, perhaps even prevent him from taking office. Even if the allegations are eventually regarded as untrue, they may permanently slur and thus cripple Trump as a foreign-policy president, especially in trying to diminish the exceedingly dangerous new Cold War with Russia, which would constitute a grave threat to US national security—particularly in an existential nuclear confrontation like the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. If anti-Trump American forces are behind untrue allegations of this magnitude, those forces are the primary enemies of US national security and should be investigated fully and publicly.
If we believe the vilification campaign, Vladimir Putin put Donald Trump in the White House because he considered Hillary Clinton the greater threat. If you really believe that Putin was manipulating it all from behind the scenes you have to believe that he was most threatened by Hillary Clinton. As you know the Russians have consistently treated Hillary and John Kerry and Barack Obama with nothing but contempt.
Cohen offers this analysis:
Two conflicting interpretations are suggested, says Cohen. Either Trump is about to become a potentially seditious American president. Or powerful US forces are trying to destroy his presidency before it begins, perhaps even prevent him from taking office. Even if the allegations are eventually regarded as untrue, they may permanently slur and thus cripple Trump as a foreign-policy president, especially in trying to diminish the exceedingly dangerous new Cold War with Russia, which would constitute a grave threat to US national security—particularly in an existential nuclear confrontation like the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
The American left is playing the only card it has left: the politics of defamation. We should evaluate the consequences:
Cohen points out that even before the latest “revelation” there has been an unprecedented media campaign to defame Trump as a would-be traitor in his relations with Russia. On the night of January 4, a CNN paid contributor characterized the next president as a Russian “fifth columnist”—no one on the panel dissented or demurred.
Subsequently, Washington Post columnists warned that Trump might have committed “treason” as president or replicate with Putin the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939. Another set out the articles of his impeachment even before his inauguration. Here, too, nothing so poisonous, or potentially detrimental to national security, or to the presidency itself, has occurred in modern American history.
Everyone has been saying that Trump needs to accept the conclusions offered by the intelligence community uncritically. Cohen disagrees, suggesting that Trump is right to remain skeptical:
US national security requires a president who is able to evaluate critically intelligence reports or have people around him who can do so. Whether Trump and his appointees are such people is a separate question.
Cohen considers Tillerson to be well qualified to be Secretary of State:
Cohen counters that the United States does not need a friend in the Kremlin but a national-security partner whose national interests are sufficiently mutual for sustained cooperation—détente instead of Cold War. In this regard, Tillerson, whose success was based on reconciling national interests, would appear to be well qualified, though he too is defamed for suggesting any kind of cooperation with Moscow, no matter the benefits to US national security.
One notes that Andrew Young, an icon in the civil rights movement, also supports Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State:
So, for me, an "Oil Man" as Secretary of State is a "Stone of Hope."
Statecraft has a tendency to be moralistic. Business is more pragmatic, seeking mutual self-interest rather than arguing absolutes of right or wrong.
I offer these views because they do not come from Trump supporters. In the current cacophony of threats and posturing, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find people who can see beyond moral absolutes.