While the left is trying to complain that President Donald J. Trump is not hard enough on the Russian government and Vladimir Putin in particular, it seems that they are not in the mood to recall the way that previous administrations treated the nation (and its leader). It almost seems like they’re looking to avoid a discussion of the failure of previous policies that they may have had a hand in, or they are using the go-to solution to cover their own Russian collusion by accusing their enemies of the things they do.
However, Donald Trump, like the elephant that symbolizes the party he represents, never forgets, and while answering questions about his policies for the nation in an interview with CNBC, he let loose. He called Barack Obama a “patsy for Russia,” and outlined proof that his foreign policy concerning the nation was much tougher than the former president’s. He also annihilated Obama’s record dealing with the Russian government and its various members and agents.
At the time, Obama was accidentally caught on a hot microphone telling the then-President of Russia, Medvedev, that after the 2012 presidential election, he would have more “flexibility” to deal with the Russians concerning missile defense systems in the area.
To be entirely fair to Donald J. Trump, he’s entirely correct. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were still pursuing a ‘Russian Reset’ policy, and were commonly condemning George W. Bush’s policy of treating Russia like they were, if not an enemy, at least an untrustworthy national actor.
After Mitt made his statement, the former President said that the 1980’s wanted their foreign policy back, and that the Cold War had been over for about 20 years.
During the 2012 Democrat National Convention, John Kerry even said that he believed the republican presidential candidate got his view on Russia entirely from the movie Rocky IV.
While the political left was refusing to take the former Soviet Union seriously, they were also working, via the reset of relations, to essentially cave to most demands that the Russians made, in exchange for non-binding agreements on things like nuclear disarmament.
Eventually, Obama did get somewhat hard on Putin, after years of kowtowing to his nation. He signed sanctions against a handful of Russian human rights abusers in the form of the Magnitsky Act, which passed both chambers of the legislature with enough votes to easily override a veto.
In 2016, he also closed down two Russian facilities in the United States and deported 35 diplomats, as punishment for their alleged interference in the 2016 election.
Donald Trump has repeatedly signed sanctions into law against Russia in general, not just ‘human rights abusers’ in the nation, by contrast.
So, when he met with Vladimir Putin, President Trump was being diplomatic.
When news outlets from the United States tried to goad him into condemning Putin for things like the nerve gas agent attacks against four individuals, he was right to not condemn him.
He’s trying to establish diplomatic relations, and hoping to avoid a war, or years of ongoing threats with Russia after Obama and Clinton’s foreign policies worked as hard as possible to bring America to the edge of a fight with the former communist nation.
It’s also true that it seems that, yet again, Trump is being attacked for things that his predecessor did and was protected by the media for doing. When Obama talked about the Russian Reset, most American mainstream media outlets celebrated it as if it was the end of the Cold War.
When Donald Trump had the audacity to treat Putin as if he were an actual person who is likely interested in what’s best for his own nation, the media ran stories about Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, a man who likely lied to Congress, calling Trump’s meeting treason.
It certainly seems like the media has a blind spot for the eight years when the first African-American president in the United States was in charge, and they still seem scared to openly and honestly critique his policy.
One thing is certain, though: a world where America and Russia get along, and where their leaders can sit down and talk calmly, is better than one where the two nations are constantly threatening each other.