The Democrats’ disturbing decision to go into berserker mode against Russia warrants a re-evaluation of their foreign policy. Nowadays they talk tough on Russia. But what was their actual policy?
What becomes clear, even on a cursory examination, is that Obama was extremely pro-Russia. Second in American history only to his ideological brother Franklin Roosevelt, who was pro-Stalin. Or was that “Uncle Joe”? Either way, it has always been the Democrats who defend and enable Russia.
This wasn’t even controversial to Barack Obama. He knew Russia was America’s partner and he made sure to browbeat anyone who didn’t agree. Romney once had the temerity to suggest Russia was an adversary, to which Obama responded, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because you know, the Cold War has been over for 20 years.” Haha! So witty.
But it was more than a cute political talking point for Obama. This was serious business. Read his national security strategy. It said that we must respect Russia’s “strong voice,” and should “deepen our cooperation” with Russia “on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.”
Upon assuming the presidency, Obama immediately took concrete steps to collude and cooperate with Russia.
In 2008, Russia invaded the Republic of Georgia, a little country that only recently had escaped from beneath Moscow’s boot. Obama couldn’t sweep this invasion under the rug fast enough. Within his first year in office, his secretary of state was jetting off to give Russia a “reset button.” The Georgia annoyance had to go away, fast, so he could pursue his pro-Russia platform.
Obama then went to work reversing an entire century of policy towards Russia. America had revoked recognition of Russia when the Bolsheviks took over. It was Roosevelt who granted them recognition in 1933 (that, by the way, was during the Holodomor, the Moscow led genocide and starvation of millions of Ukrainians). But it wasn’t until very recently in 2012, when Obama finished what Roosevelt started, by granting Russia permanent normal trade relations.
If Trump’s alleged slow pace of new sanctions on Russia is a problem for Democrats, how do they feel about Obama’s successful push to bring Russia into the World Trade Organization? Russia is now threatening to use the WTO to sue America to stop Trump from implementing his campaign promises.
Obama’s administration notoriously approved Russian ownership of huge amounts of American uranium. Congress and his own intelligence community objected. But no hurdle was too high for Obama to jump if it meant bringing America closer to Russia.
Consider: Russia’s meddling in America’s election was near its height in July 2016. This was already long past the time when Obama should have taken steps to address Russia. Instead, he was still trying to draw America and Russia closer together; he was trailblazing a path for the United States and Russian military and intelligence communities to collude. Here is how the Obama-friendly Washington Post explained it at the time: “The Obama administration’s new proposal to Russia on Syria is more extensive than previously known. It would open the way for deep cooperation between U.S. and Russian military and intelligence agencies[.]”
Friendship between America and Russia truly bloomed when the DNC commissioned the Russian lobbyists at Fusion GPS to find dirt on Trump. Their product, the Steele Dossier, was based on Kremlin sources. Democrats then leaked the Russian disinformation to influence American opinion. The FBI also used it to get FISA warrants on the Trump campaign. In other words, the attorney general and FBI director both personally signed off on the use of Kremlin sources. Which was then leveraged into securing a special counsel against Trump.
Obama wasn’t joking when he said he wanted to “deepen cooperation” with Russia. What exactly did he mean by matters of “mutual interest”?
If Democrats think Russia is the devil, then given Obama’s extensive cooperation and promotion of Russia, they must also think Obama’s foreign policy was a disaster and he was terrible for national security. There is no way around it.
Perhaps Obama took this line on Russia because he was ignorant. He didn’t realize the threat Russia posed. His policy was dangerous and regrettable, but understandable and forgivable. He was just a child in a man’s world.
Obama’s top political appointees can give some insight into Obama’s mindset and confirm this hypothesis. Here is an interview from 2017 between CNN and Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who states, “the threat posed by Russia, as John [Brennan] just said, is manifest and obvious. It has been for a long time.”
Wait a minute. I thought Obama was just naīve. Now you’re telling me, Obama knew Russia was a threat to America all along? So why grow trade relations with them? Improve their prestige? Give them hypersonic missile technology? Why was Comey signing off on Kremlin sources in the FISA court? Was this done over Clapper and Brennan’s objection or with their help?
These are not rhetorical questions.
Photo credit: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images