America’s Newest Epidemic: Toxic Russophobia

Since Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, a constant drumbeat of Russophobia has resounded throughout the halls of power. Today, the drumbeat has become so deafening that Congress’s already self-imposed inability to legislate has been made even worse, if you can believe it. In turn, this clamorous Russophobia has needlessly blunted the president’s ability to “make America Great again.”

America’s current Russophobia epidemic is not based on anything substantive. Rather, our Ruling Class are still sick about their preferred candidate losing the November election. How pathetic.  

For all the talk of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s murderous tyranny (and, yes, he is an autocrat who intimidates, jails, and likely even kills his opponents), our Russophobes usually miss something crucial: Putin’s grip on power is tenuous at best (which is why he is fighting so hard to keep hold onto it) and Russia’s social and economic standing in the world is precarious. In fact, Russia is in outright decline. If the West is not careful, we may end up sending Russia over-the-cliff and into collapse. Be assured, no matter how terrible Putin’s regime may be, what comes afterward can be much, much worse for the United States.

Fact is, like the Ottoman Empire of yesteryear, the Russian Federation is the “sick man” of Eurasia. Rather than formulating doctrines and programs for speeding up the Russian Federation’s demise (as the United States did to the Soviet Union during the Cold War), the American government should be doing what the British and French Empires did to the Ottoman Empire throughout the last part of its existence: figuring out how to guide the flailing empire to a proverbial soft landing.

Remember, the great European empires (other than Czarist Russia) fought hard to ensure the Ottoman Empire did not collapse, lest the “Sick Man of Europe” ultimately spread his contagion. World War I represented the collapse of this policy, as the Ottomans aligned with the Central Powers to fight the Allies, and made British and French attempts at preserving it impossible.

What followed, of course, was the creation of the modern Middle East by the British and French (as well as the Russians and other European colonial powers). And as you know from recent events, the modern Middle East is a disaster zone. What happened in the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire is likely to happen in modern Russia, should the United States keep pushing hard against the enfeebled regime, as we have since 2014. Only imagine the collapse of the Ottoman Empire with scores of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons being loosed from its bases. Does that sound like a good future for the world?

Of course, our elite—the “wise” graybeards of American foreign policy—don’t pay much mind to that scenario. They laugh at such suggestions. But bear in mind that since the United States imposed harsh economic sanctions on Moscow following its unlawful annexation of Crimea, Russia’s economy has collapsed. As a result, the internal security situation in Russia is precarious. In response, the Putin regime has imposed greater restrictions on what little democracy exists in Russia. Meanwhile, our European friends—who are entirely dependent on Russian energy sources and trade—are made weaker, not stronger, by the lack of access to Russian goods. Plus, the sanctions have inspired the kind of political extremism in Europe that our Europhilic elite claim to abhor.

The Russophobia has become so toxic that Russia is looking to China for a new alliance. In other words, our ruling elite’s excessive animus toward Moscow risks harming American grand strategy for at least a generation. After all, it was the great British geostrategist, Sir Halford Mackinder, who warned the West of the grave danger that would exist should a power (or group of powers) come to dominate the immense natural resources of the “world island” that is Eurasia. And as we saw during the early Cold War, a Sino-Russian alliance is terrible for U.S. foreign policy.

Further, Russia’s role in the Middle East is out of strict national interest: it shares a long and notoriously unstable border with the region. Putin has aligned with Iran as a means of, yes, limiting America’s geostrategic capabilities in the Mideast, but also because he’s trying to create some much-needed stability on Russia’s southern periphery. This also explains why Putin is working hard to win friends in Russia’s historical adversary of Turkey. Putin wants to capture the vast energy sources of the region, and he is using both Iran and Turkey as proxies in this game plan. While this is annoying to the United States, this is also predictable geopolitics.

All of these moves are in keeping with historical Russian geopolitical patterns—not just over the last 80 years, but going back to the time of Ivan the Terrible! And Russia is so weak right now that Putin could not possibly achieve what he thinks he can, meaning the threat to America is overhyped by our political elite.

How are American best interests best served by overhyping the threat of Russia? Have we learned nothing from the Iraq War?

Now, the paralyzing Russophobia afflicting America’s government is manifesting itself in a strange way: Congress seeks to limit President Trump’s ability to remove sanctions from Russia—citing Trump’s conflict of interest. What “conflict of interest” is that, exactly? Officially, the president has never been accused of any wrongdoing with Russia. There’s no evidence that he did anything wrong. Even if we are to believe he was “colluding” with Russia during the campaign (he wasn’t), he wouldn’t be guilty of breaking a single law. Besides, even if Trump were completely guilty, the United States Congress does not have the constitutional authority to impose the kind of limitations on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy the way certain members are proposing.

Putin is looking for a deal. He wants to re-establish a modicum of stability between the West and Russia. He needs help developing his energy sources in the Far East (and he’s not foolish enough to want the Chinese to take the lead—unless he’s left with no choice, as he currently is).

Our bipartisan foreign policy elite needs to end this Russophobia before it destabilizes Eurasia further and leads to an epic—potentially nuclearconfrontation with Russia. Let’s not allow this Russian mania blind us to costs that far outweigh the benefits to America.

Content created by The Center for American Greatness, Inc is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com

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About Brandon J. Weichert

Brandon J. Weichert is a geopolitical analyst who manages The Weichert Report. He is a contributing editor at American Greatness and a contributor at The American Spectator . His forthcoming book, Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower is due out from Republic Book Publishers in 2020. His writings on national security have appeared in Real Clear Politics and he has been featured on the BBC and CBS News. Follow him on Twitter at @WeTheBrandon.

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16 responses to “America’s Newest Epidemic: Toxic Russophobia

  • Destabilizing Russia is pure idiocy. All it can lead to is the islamization of Asia. But our ruling class are too frickn stupid to grasp that simple truism.

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    • The gangster state of “Russia” is destabilizing itself. All that the policies and attitudes described above do, is limit America’s ability to manage the collapse of “Russia” and prevent totals chaos once it does.

  • To understand Russia, look at a map. Russia has the potential to become the most powerful nation in the world – and probably will – and it is in our best interests to have a friendly relationship with them, and with Putin. Russia is the land link between Europe and China – no land transportation routes can link the two continents without going through Russia. Russia is also rich in natural resources, and is not over-populated like the United State is becoming in urban areas. That’s all not to mention Russia’s military power, which is formidable. As for economies. I’m not so sure that ours is that stable. The US economy was/is based on petroleum but in spite of the current glut of crude oil, we’re running out. Russia, on the other hand, has vast oil reserves as well as reserves of other resources from timber to uranium. (Yes, a Russian company bought a company that owns uranium in the US but not because Russia doesn’t have plenty of it’s own.) Remember that Hitler attacked Russia for a reason – living space. As it turned out, he was defeated by the Russian winter. God help this country if the idiots in Washington decide to start a war with Russia. Personally, I think Donald Trump has better sense but I’m not so sure about the professional bearucrats and some Congressmen.

    • As someone who worked in the bureaucracy, I can tell you that these folks DON’T have better sense. It’s all a big game to them. It’s sick.

      • Any suggestions how to get the MediaEye of Sauron distracted away from Russia!? It’s not as if alternative media is getting through. When I scan what Breitbart is ‘reporting’, no hope there.

        The only positive sign is Scaramucci’s play to unmask The New Yorker. Editor Remnick is the high priest of the ‘resistance’, and his animus to Putin is legendary. I cancelled my 40-year subscription, (after several years annoyance with his changes), when Remnick used the NBC broadcast of the opening ceremony of Sochi2014, to editorialize on Putin. It was Ryan Lizza July 21, 2008 that started the media capitulation : http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/07/21/making-it
        Candidate Obama then banned Lizza from the European trip. The New Yorker’s penance led to where we are now. (Scaramucci had to know exactly what he was doing with his phone call to Lizza.)

        I really thought we would be back to normal bipartisan sniping, after POTUS’ May overseas trip. This makes what Jefferson, in 1800 & 1804, and Lincoln in 1860 & 1864, endured, look normal.

  • This is nothing more then the Dims trying to delegitimize Trumps presidency with the hopes that if they keep throwing this nonsense out there the less informed will start believing it! The truth of the matter is the Dims have much stronger ties to the Russians then the GOP would ever have because their political philosophies are much more similar! If and when the truth ever comes out, this will be proven by the facts and not by any left-wing media fake news!

    • Dems? Naw. Watch the magician’s other hand to see the real trickery. It is the GOP that has betrayed the people who seek freedom instead of their nanny state.

  • They’re not as sick about Hillary losing, nor are they really sick about Trump winning, as much as they are filled with fear that their games of deceit no longer work. They are, in fact, deadly afraid that they’ve lost their power to the American people who fully know they can never be trusted again. The lies, the media constructs, the faux promises, the faux investigations to nowhere are all marshmallow guns in their war on truth and on our freedom.
    Trump is but one answer…there will be others to follow should he fail.
    No mas……

  • Not too long ago beating up on Russia would be called red baiting and those who called out those helping the Russians were called McCarthyites. We remember Obama’s “the 80s called” comment at Romney’s expense. We remember how the democrats belittled Romney for saying Russia was the biggest threat. Their sudden hatred of everything Russian puts them athwart their own recent statements.

    See for yourself. The amusing thing is that he is waving off Russia and focusing on al Qaeda. Except he was wrong about Russias and watched ISIS grow like malicious melanoma.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0IWe11RWOM

  • “America’s Newest Epidemic: Toxic Russophobia”

    No, not really, it’s just the most recent manifestation of their lunacy.

  • Apologists for Trump’s venal treason unite. You have nothing to lose but your patriotism!!

  • Idiot generals & posturing politicians in Washington actually believe the USA can start and “win” a nuclear war with Russia.

  • “Our bipartisan foreign policy elite needs to end this Russophobia before it destabilizes Eurasia further and leads to an epic—potentially nuclear—confrontation with Russia.” Good luck with thatI M y guess is that the people in the Foreign Service — civil servants — know this perfectly well and know also what kind of retribution they would face if they spoke up. I hope I am wrong.

  • Could this new epidemic of Russophobia evolve into another red-witch-hunt in US as in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s? Hope not. Better not.

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