Despite the ire of the Washington establishment, 'the Donald' won't apologize for saying the US needs to get along with Moscow
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump was attending the "Commander-in-Chief" forum yesterday, hosted by dependable NBC propagandist Matt Lauer, when he was again confronted with answering charges he is too friendly toward Vladimir Putin and Russia.
About 12 minutes into the program a young veteran stood up to ask Trump what he would do to "de-escalate tension" and "bring Russia back to the negotiating table."
To be sure, to have the question phrased in a rather non-confrontational way (toward Russia) is noteworthy. Normally the question would come in a loaded form such as, "What will you do to stop Russia's aggression?"
This young man gave off the distinct impression that he was himself not in favor of escalation with Moscow - a sentiment probably shared by many veterans and ordinary Americans after decades of continuous war.
The candidate responded that he'd be able to handle international diplomacy much better than the current government, which has ruined relations with Moscow:
I think I'd have a very good relationship with many foreign leaders...I think I'd have a very good relationship with Putin and I think I'd have a very good relationship with Russia. Take a look today. Take a look at what happened with their fighter jets circling one of our aircraft in a very dangerous manner...this is hostility. And I saw just two or three days ago...President Obama and Putin staring at each other...these were two people who were not getting along.
When MSM shill Lauer rattled off the list of usual charges flug at Russia and Putin ("invading" Ukraine, "annexing" Crimea, etc.) Trump turned the tables, replying:
Do you want me to start naming some of the things Obama does?
But Mr. Trump was also adamant that his mutual respect with Putin would not mean he would be prepared to sacrifice US interests to Russia:
When he calls me brilliant, I'll take the compliment ok?...It's not going to get him anywhere. I'm a negotiator.
Obviously, Trump has to walk a fine line between encouraging a new attitude toward Russia and appearing weak to his conservative base. So far, he has managed it.
In fact, nodding was seen in the background (applause was apparently not allowed) when he repeated his mantra of getting along with Russia in order to fight ISIS:
Russia wants to defeat ISIS as badly as we do. If we had a relationship with Russia - wouldn't it be wonderful if we could work on it together and knock the hell out of ISIS? Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing?
Despite the deluge of Russophobic propaganda to be found in US media, the American public "gets it" that Russia is actually fighting terrorism in Syria and the US is not. And that is something that earns their respect.
When pressed by Lauer, Trump explained what he meant about Putin being a "leader":
He is very much of a leader. You can say, 'oh, isn't that a terrible thing,' but the man has very strong control over a country. Now it's a very different system and I don't happen to like the system, but certainly, in that system he's been a leader - far more than our president has been a leader.
As Trump made this statement, the camera cut briefly to a group of veterans who could be seen smiling and nodding in agreement.
During the course of Lauer's impertinent accusations, Trump maintained what can be described as an appearance of serious annoyance and boredom on his face.
Trump isn't the only one annoyed by the same old, same old tired accusations and fear mongering designed to whip up a new cold war with Russia. So is the rest of the world.
And it's nice to finally have a major US presidential candidate who feels the same.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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