Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Collective Amnesia

As of now the media, from the left and also from the right, is at war against the Trump administration. Latest case in point, Trump’s attitude toward Vladimir Putin.

Surely, Trump was grievously wrong to blurt out to Bill O’Reilly that Americans are not entirely innocent of murder. Whatever the truth, the American president has no business talking down the nation.

And yet, Roger Simon explains, the mainstream media and the Democratic politicos who now want to look tough on Russia are trashing Trump for looking weak. Behind the story lurks the truth: the Obama administration projected weakness within the country and around the world for eight years. America saw in Donald Trump an antidote to weakness, someone who would not bend over to the ayatollahs, Palestinian terrorists and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Simon points out that Trump is not being held to the same standards as the Obama administration or Franklin Roosevelt. He attempts to restore a few shards of memory to those who are suffering from collective amnesia:

You would think the mainstream media had had a collective lobotomy or is suffering from some mass version of premature Alzheimer's disease, considering how quickly they have forgotten the red reset button with Russia, the chummy open-mic whisper from Obama to Medvedev, and the even chummier backslapping between John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov in their zeal to poleax Donald Trump for his lax attitude toward Vladimir Putin.

Was Putin less an ex-KGB agent in those not so distant Obama days, less a killer? Surely those same media geniuses are not such historical illiterates they have never heard of the KGB's bloodthirsty antecedents -- the GRU, the NKVD, and the Cheka?  As we all know,  or should, Russians, Soviet and otherwise, have been offing each other for a long time -- well before Donald Trump came on the scene, although you wouldn't believe that, considering the swill currently being written by our residents of digital Grub Street.

Have they actually forgotten that FDR dealt regularly with Stalin (indeed was his ally), a dictator whose despotism dwarfed Putin's and who ended up murdering more people than Hitler? Estimates range from 30 to 60 million.  Nevertheless, Franklin complimented Uncle Joe on more than one occasion over a number of years to get what the American president wanted.  (Attn.: youthful New York Times reporters -- in case this surprises you, you can read about it in "Caught between Roosevelt and Stalin: American Ambassadors to Moscow" by Dennis J. Dunn or, more simply, in the columns of your own monstrous Walter Duranty.)

Roosevelt and Churchill sat with Stalin at Yalta, where they cozied up to the general secretary in manners the MSM, or even the fevered swamps of the alt-left, would not dare contemplate about our current president in their most extreme moments of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

As I have reported on this blog, diverse voices like Stephen Cohen in The Nation, Henry Kissinger in Time Magazine and George Friedman in Geopolitical Futures have suggested that there might be method in Trump’s approach to Putin.

Simon echoes the thought, suggesting that Trump might need Putin to confront two of the greatest foreign policy challenges, ISIS and an empowered Iran. For those who have forgotten, the rise of ISIS and the empowerment of Iran were consequences of Obama administration policies.

Now, Trump is gambling. He is not attacking Putin because he wants to leave himself the possibility of working with Putin to crush ISIS and to put Iran back in its cage. It may be a losing wager. It may be a mistake. I for one do not know.

Strangely enough, one of the primary flaws in the Trump approach to presidential leadership has been his inability, as they put it, to control his message. He shoots from the lip and does not much weigh the consequences. Surely, that was what he was doing when he defamed America on Super Bowl Sunday.

On Putin, Trump has been cautious and diplomatic. It might not work, but it is not necessarily a bad thing.

Simon suggests that we direct our attention to what is going on in the world and extricate ourselves from our newest battle in the American culture wars. If we look toward the Middle East and recognize what Obama hath wrought, we will see this:

Horrifying as ISIS is, Iran in particular is becoming increasingly dangerous every day, firing off long-range test missiles right and left that soon will be capable of hitting Europe or even, in one report, Boston. They are also undoubtedly quietly continuing their nuclear research, waiting to mate their spanking new weapons of mass destruction with a 21st century delivery system and become the hegemon of the Middle East.  Obviously Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states are alarmed.  Israel always has been.  The rest of us should be too.

Anyone who believes or trusts in Obama's Iran deal -- clearly the biggest American foreign policy blunder in recent memory -- to save us from this situation is, to be blunt, a fool. That deal is our Munich.


Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: And yet, Roger Simon explains, the mainstream media and the Democratic politicos who now want to look tough on Russia are trashing Trump for looking weak. Behind the story lurks the truth: the Obama administration projected weakness within the country and around the world for eight years.

This is called a strawman argument. You replace someone else's argument with a different one, and then you trash your version of their argument, and pretend you've made a point.

Trump looks like a chump when Putin offers a generic positive comment a year ago, and he swallows it whole because he's so desperate to be admired.

Any 70 year old man who needs compliments to feel good about himself is not "weak", but pathetic, sort of like the old people who feel grateful when scammers call them and they give over their credit card number for a free cruise to the bahamas.

Jim Sweeney said...

Trump was merely citing history. Recall, please, JFK et al attempting to assassinate Castro? And actually causing the death of Vietnamese leaders? That's just two examples which are public knowledge.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @February 7, 2017 at 7:22 AM:

"This is called a strawman argument."

Of course. This is your familiar argument against other arguments found here. Amusing.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the last quote about Iran.
Anybody that uses the phrase or acronym "WMD" without irony or skepticism is drinking the koolaid.
Iran ain't perfect but a little more real politick regarding Iran - and Israel - would be in order, just as it is w. Russia.