Media’s Russia Deflection

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

The national economy of Russia, the world’s largest country, is heavily dependent on exporting natural gas and crude oil, but, per capita, Russia’s economic output is only 15 percent that of Texas. Russia’s overall economy is about the size of Pennsylvania’s, New Jersey’s and Delaware’s combined.

Though a minor contributor to the global economy, Russia has a major geopolitical presence, because it possesses nuclear capabilities comparable to America’s, the means to deliver warheads world-wide, and the ability to nuclearize rogue regimes hostile to the United States and its allies.

Clearly, engaging Russia is a necessary, even potentially-existential imperative for responsible, clear-eyed United States officials who face the difficult task of effectively balancing “carrot and stick” diplomacy. If America’s only diplomatic tools are “carrots,” then there will never be enough carrots to satisfy the appetites of otherwise-hostile geopolitical competitors. Ambitious adversaries must be made to understand that there are social, economic or, potentially, military prices to be paid for armed aggression or other unfriendly acts.

So, early in 2018, President Donald Trump’s administration levied new sanctions against Russia for meddling in America’s 2016 presidential election. In April, President Trump warned Russia that the U.S. military would strike its Syrian client in response to any use of chemical weapons – and then made good on the threat.

More to the point, if, as left-wing media allege, Trump is Russia’s “puppet”, he’d be doing precisely what former-President Barack Obama did while in office.

Obama attempted to hamstring conventional energy production and transportation by cancelling exploration/development leases and fracking on federal land, and by blocking oil and gas pipelines, gas conversion and port facilities. Conversely, President Trump has encouraged and enabled energy exploration and production.

Obama and congressional Democrats redirected military spending to social issues and attempted to normalize relations with Russia’s terrorism-exporting Iranian ally. Obama passively watched Russia annex Crimea and invade the Ukraine, a nation the Trump administration is arming.

On Russia, President Trump has been the anti-Obama. If he is Putin’s puppet, Vladimir’s a lousy puppeteer.

From a practical standpoint, Russia had reason to prefer Hillary Clinton as president. As Secretary, Clinton was responsible for the Obama administration’s “reset” of the American/Russian relationship and overseeing the sale of American uranium reserves to Russian interests. Clinton supported normalization of America’s relationship with Iran’s nuke-seeking mullahs and ran on a platform of perpetuating Obama-era policies that were already benefitting Russia, including suppressing exploration, production and exportation of America’s conventional energy assets.

Additionally, if Russian hackers harvested the 33,000 missing emails from Secretary Hillary’s illegal, unsecured servers and accessed the DNC’s, Putin held the means to quietly control America’s “shoe-in” president and limit American diplomacy to “carrots.”

Think. One can argue that President Trump’s and/or Barack Obama’s postures vis-a-vis Russia are good or bad policy, but the Democrats’ left-wing media mouthpieces who ignored and failed to report far-more-compelling evidence of collusion during the Obama years cannot make a persuasive case that President Trump ever colluded with the Russians or is doing so today.