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Moral Supremacy and Mr. Putin

America, Australia, and all other nations on earth, do not possess histories clean of moral sin.

So while we wish for morality to be enforced across the world wherever is possible and should act accordingly, on certain occasions such luxuries cannot be afforded.

Likewise, when governments enact democracy crusade foreign policies, such strategies are ineffective, and generally harm the world for the worse.

“Moral Supremacy and Mr. Putin”, Pat Buchanan, February 6, 2017:

Is Donald Trump to be allowed to craft a foreign policy based on the ideas on which he ran and won the presidency in 2016?

Our foreign policy elite’s answer appears to be a thunderous no.

Case in point: U.S. relations with Russia.

During the campaign Trump was clear. He would seek closer ties with Russia and cooperate with Vladimir Putin in smashing al-Qaida and ISIS terrorists in Syria, and leave Putin’s ally Bashar Assad alone.

With this diplomatic deal in mind, President Trump has resisted efforts to get him to call Putin a “thug” or a “murderer.”

Asked during his taped Super Bowl interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly whether he respected Putin, Trump said that, as a leader, yes.

O’Reilly pressed, “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”

To which Trump replied, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

While his reply was clumsy, Trump’s intent was commendable.

If he is to negotiate a modus vivendi with a nation with an arsenal of nuclear weapons sufficient to end life as we know it in the USA, probably not a good idea to start off by calling its leader a “killer.”

Mitch McConnell rushed to assure America he believes Putin is a “thug” and any suggestion of a moral equivalence between America and Russia is outrageous.

Apparently referring to a polonium poisoning of KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko, Marco Rubio tweeted, “When has a Democratic political activist ever been poisoned by the GOP? Or vice versa?”

Yet, as we beat our chests in celebration of our own moral superiority over other nations and peoples, consider what Trump is trying to do here, and who is really behaving as a statesmen, and who is acting like an infantile and self-righteous prig.

When President Eisenhower invited Nikita Khrushchev to the United States, did Ike denounce him as the “Butcher of Budapest” for his massacre of the Hungarian patriots in 1956?

Did President Nixon, while negotiating his trip to Peking to end decades of hostility, speak the unvarnished truth about Mao Zedong — that he was a greater mass murderer than Stalin?

While Nixon was in Peking, Mao was conducting his infamous Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that resulted in millions of deaths, a years-long pogrom that dwarfed the two-day Kristallnacht. Yet Mao’s crimes went unmentioned in Nixon’s toast to America and China starting a “long march” together.

John McCain calls Putin a KGB thug, “a murderer, and a killer.”

Yet, Yuri Andropov, the Soviet ambassador in Budapest who engineered the slaughter of the Hungarian rebels with Russian tanks, became head of the KGB. And when he rose to general secretary of the Communist Party, Ronald Reagan wanted to talk to him, as he had wanted to talk to every Soviet leader.

Why? Because Reagan believed the truly moral thing he could do was negotiate to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

He finally met Gorbachev in 1985, when the USSR was occupying Afghanistan and slaughtering Afghan patriots.

The problem with some of our noisier exponents of “American exceptionalism” is that they lack Reagan’s moral maturity.

Undeniably, we were on God’s side in World War II and the Cold War. But were we ourselves without sin in those just struggles?

Was it not at least morally problematic what we did to Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki where hundreds of thousands of women and children were blasted and burned to death?

How many innocent Iraqis have perished in the 13 years of war we began, based on falsified or fake evidence of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction?

In Russia, there have been murders of journalists and dissidents. Yes, and President Rodrigo Duterte, our Philippine ally, has apparently condoned the deaths of thousands of drug dealers and users since last summer.

The Philippine Catholic Church calls it “a reign of terror.”

Should we sever our treaty ties to the Duterte regime?

Have there been any extrajudicial killings in the Egypt of our ally Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi since he overthrew the elected government?

Has our Turkish ally, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, killed no innocents in his sweeping repression since last summer’s attempted coup?

Some of us remember a Cold War in which Gen. Augusto Pinochet dealt summarily with our common enemies in Chile, and when the Savak of our ally the Shah of Iran was not a 501(c)(3) organization.

Sen. Rubio notwithstanding, the CIA has not been a complete stranger to “wet” operations or “terminating with extreme prejudice.”

Was it not LBJ who said of the Kennedys, who had arranged multiple assassination attempts of Fidel Castro, that they had been “operating a damned Murder Inc. in the Caribbean”?

If Trump’s talking to Putin can help end the bloodshed in Ukraine or Syria, it would appear to be at least as ethical an act as pulpiteering about our moral superiority on the Sunday talk shows.

4 thoughts on “Moral Supremacy and Mr. Putin

  1. Leave it to Mushhead Mitch McConnell and John McVAIN to step in it when they should keep their mouths shut. Trump may not have articulated his point well, but poor articulation does not invalidate it …

  2. “In Russia, there have been murders of journalists and dissidents.” In the West there has been suffocating, ridiculing and embedding of journalists and winnowing of the media to present completely biased product.

    “How many innocent Iraqis have perished in the 13 years of war we began, based on falsified or fake evidence of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction?” Ah, let’s correct that and get back to the beginning with Gulf War 1, and the bloodshed and carnage that began then and lingered through bogus UN resolutions under Clinton coming to a total of 25 years of rivers of blood in Iraq – and that’s being generous by passing the blame for the 8 years of the Iran-Iraq war that preceded that to Hussein – our guy!

    “Has our Turkish ally, Erdogan, killed no innocents in his sweeping repression since last summer’s attempted coup?” What on Earth is Turkey doing in NATO anyway? Turkey has no Christian heritage, Russia does. Yet the brain trust of the British-American establishment wants Turkey in and Russia out?

    Trump is the first honest and straightforward, not totally insane leader the US has had in my lifetime and probably since WW1. The media trying to goad him is something remarkable – WE JUST VOTED FOR HIM AND WE DO NOT AGREE WITH YOUR FOREIGN AFFAIRS POLICIES, YOUR ECONOMIC POLICIES OR ANY OTHER OF YOUR POLICIES! Every time these idiots in the MSM try to make him a fool they only confirm for us how psychotic and corrupt, totally delusional and bereft of ability to handle reality the ‘establishment’ (and its lackeys) is.

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