Thursday, December 15, 2016

December 15, 2016--Am I Missing Something?

If I am, it wouldn't be the first time.

When newly-inaugurated president Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton called for the re-normalization of relations with Russia, in the person of Vladimir Putin, progressives supported that and even chuckled when Clinton brought an actual reset button with her as a present to Putin on her first official visit to Moscow.

Thankfully, we felt, we no longer had a president who proclaimed that he looked in "the man's eye and found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy." The "man" of course was Putin.

We know how that worked out. First with Bush and now with Obama, who not only can't exchange a civil word with Putin or look him int the eye but, more dangerously, we have Russia allied with the murderous Syrian regime, perpetrating a holocaust on opponents to the Assad government, while we stand by impudently doing nothing.

And now we know officially that Putin's people hacked their way into the middle of our recent election in an attempt to bring Clinton down and tip the election to Donald Trump. And once again, we are sitting around fulminating but doing nothing. What was it that the Chinese said about "paper tiger"?

Whatever shred of tiger still resides within us is now expressing itself as moral outrage that Trump's nominee to serve as Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was too cozy with Russia and Putin during his tenure as CEO for Exxon Mobil.

Almost foaming at the mouth, John McCain, undoubtedly itching to get at the hated Donald Trump, has already declared that he will likely vote against Tillerson's nomination because his "friend" Putin is "a thug, a murderer, and a killer."

I wonder what McCain would have said about Stalin during the Second World War? Someone we disliked but depended upon to win against the Nazis. Historians have concluded that if it weren't for the Soviet involvement--defeating Hitler on the Second Front when he invaded Russia--we might very well have lost.

Stalin, this essential ally of ours, was more than a thug, murderer, or killer. He was a mass murderer the likes of which the world has thankfully rarely seen. He is reported to have slaughtered between 34 and 49 million of his own people. And yet, Roosevelt found ways to work with him.

And then later, President Nixon concluded it was expedient to reset relations with another mass murderer--Mao Zedong, who ordered the slaying of at least 45 million. This outreach to China was and is in our self-interest and therefore our leaders somehow found ways to overlook the flood of bloodshed and move on.

And now with Russia again challenging us, McCain and Paul and Rubio and a host of Democrats in the Senate are threatening to block Tillerson's confirmation.

If we could calm down about Tillerson in 2013 receiving the Order of Friendship medal from Putin, wouldn't we see his "friendly" relationship with Putin to be an asset rather than a killer virus to his confirmation? Or do we prefer the prospect of Secretary of State John Bolton? Or, help us, Rudy?

What would McCain and others have us do with regard to Putin and a resurgent Russia--bomb, bomb, bomb . . . bomb Moscow?

I'm just getting over the results of November's election and now I have to worry about World War III?

This is my 3,000th blog posting. The first was way back in August 2005. Thanks for taking the time to look in on these.

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