Putin-Phobia, the Only Bipartisan Game in Town, by Doug Bandow

Even if one accepts all the allegations made against Russia the last few years, which Doug Bandow essentially does, Washington is no position to call the kettle black. From Bandow at

Hawks and doves in Washington agree Vlad is bad. Can Trump act as the lone realist?

Few issues generate a bipartisan response in Washington. President Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin is one.

Democrats who once pressed for détente with the Soviet Union act as if Trump will be giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Neoconservatives and other Republican hawks are equally horrified, having pressed for something close to war with Moscow since the latter’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Both sides act as if the Soviet Union has been reborn and Cold War has restarted.

Russia’s critics present a long bill of requirements to be met before they would relax sanctions or otherwise improve relations. Putin could save time by agreeing to be an American vassal.

Topping everyone’s list is Russian interference in the 2016 election, which was outrageous. Protecting the integrity of our democratic system is a vital interest, even if the American people sometimes treat candidates with contempt. Before joining the administration National Security Adviser John Bolton even called Russian meddling “a casus belli, a true act of war.

Yet Washington has promiscuously meddled in other nations’ elections. Carnegie Mellon’s Dov H. Levin figured that between 1946 and 2000 the U.S. government interfered with 81 foreign contests, including the 1996 Russian poll. Retired U.S. intelligence officers freely admit that Washington has routinely sought to influence other nations’ elections.

Yes, of course, Americans are the good guys and favor politicians and parties that the other peoples would vote for if only they better understood their own interests—as we naturally do. Unfortunately, foreign governments don’t see Uncle Sam as a Vestal Virgin acting on behalf of mankind. Indeed, Washington typically promotes outcomes more advantageous to, well, Washington. Perhaps Trump and Putin could make a bilateral commitment to stay out of other nations’ elections.

To continue reading: Putin-Phobia, the Only Bipartisan Game in Town


One response to “Putin-Phobia, the Only Bipartisan Game in Town, by Doug Bandow

  1. Trump is going to Putin to make a great deal.

    “What will Putin give us?”

    That’s not the question. The question is:

    What will Putin give Donald, personally?

    Remember, Donald is the president who didn’t divest and he seems to be getting away with emoluments violations at will. So what will Putin give to Donald, personally, to get what Putin wants? And, how bad will that hurt America and the rest of the free world? Which is what the rest of the free world is asking too.


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