One of the great mysteries of the new Trump administration is the President’s absolute refusal to say anything critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin. His position was made even more inexplicable in a recent interview with Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly. When asked how he felt about Putin Trump said, “I do respect him.”
“I do respect him,” is a response that in itself is puzzling. How can one respect a man who has a clear record as a killer of journalists, dissidents, and political opponents, never mind his record as a war criminal?
Then came the most shocking response in the interview. O’Reilly said to Trump, “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.” Trump responded: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” O’Reilly looked nonplussed or confused but responded by saying he didn’t know any American government leaders who were killers.
Trump responded with “take a look at what we’ve done, too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes” and then referred to the Iraq war as being equivalent to the horrendous crimes and human rights violations committed by the Russian President.
In light of the O’Reilly comments, I thought perhaps this would be a good time to really examine the Russian Leader who any reasonable person would conclude is a war criminal, a murderer, and a thief. He is corrupt to his core and for Donald Trump or anyone else to withhold judgment is absurd.
Let’s take a brief look at first, the contradictions of Donald Trump and then the crimes of Vladimir Putin.
Donald Trump has no problem at all attacking an American war hero, John McCain, and American Presidents Barrack Obama and George W. Bush, people with whom he disagreed. He was critical of McCain because he was captured in Vietnam. McCain was brutally tortured for almost five years. Trump has also been highly critical of Obama and Bush. He led the “Birther” movement which questioned Obama’s citizenship and railed against Bush for getting us involved in the Iraq war. I think any reasonable person would admit that both Obama and Bush made mistakes, they would probably admit it, but to compare them to Putin is a stretch, to say the least.
The record on Putin is pretty clear and pretty damning. He is a man who at best is a thief and killer and at worst is a war criminal on a par with some of the worst in history. It is very hard to understand how Trump can reconcile those positions.
In case readers are unfamiliar with the crimes of Vladimir Putin, I will touch on just a few and it is not a pretty picture.
During Putin’s years in office, a series of Russian democrats, journalists, and opposition leaders have been killed in mysterious circumstances and Russian officials don’t seem particularly interested in solving those crimes. The most prominent name in the list of murders is Alexander Litvinenko. He had been an officer with the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB, but fled to Britain where he became a vocal critic of the Kremlin and in the process became a British citizen.
He was killed by radioactive polonium-210, Investigating officials believe it was administered in a cup of tea.
There is not time or space to fully identify others who were ordered killed by Putin but among them are Anna Politkovskaya, Boris Nemtsov, Sergei Magnitsky, Natalia Estemirova, Sergei Yushenkov, Paul Klebnikov, Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova.
In October, Russian “nationalists” were allegedly involved in plotting to assassinate the prime minister of Montenegro, Milo Dukanović.
Some 12 opposition leaders from various parts of the former Soviet Union have also been killed in mysterious circumstances in Turkey, authorities suggest that Russian assassins were probably responsible.
While the United States has committed more than a few ridiculous things, some bordering on sheer stupidity, Putin purposely butchers and kills.
- He launched a massive air and land campaign that produced thousands of refugees reduced much of the Chechen capital Grozny to rubble and killed at least 25,000 civilians.
- Putin has funded, promoted, supplied and aided and abetted the Russian and pro-Russian terrorists in eastern Ukraine. Thus far, that war has taken 10,000 lives. It was Putin’s proxies who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014, killing 298 innocent people aboard.
- Russia’s ruthless bombing of Syria’s civilian population and targets has been termed criminal by various Western leaders and human rights organizations, prompting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to ask her Russian counterpart: “Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin? That just creeps you out a little bit? Is there nothing you will not lie about or justify?”
It is clear that in the scheme of things the United States may need to negotiate with Putin and his government, but we should never lose sight of the fact that he is an unapologetic butcher. His entire history is one of violence, intimidation, and murder. He was an agent of the KGB the Soviet Union’s secret police. The KGB is the agency that has spilled blood to achieve its goals since Lenin’s 1917 Russian revolution which resulted in mass killings on a scale so great as to be incomprehensible to the average American.
When Putin took office in 1999, he must have approved the bombings of two Moscow apartment buildings in which hundreds of innocent Russians lost their lives. Amy Knight is an expert on the subject of the KGB and its successor the FSB. She says, “The evidence makes it abundantly clear that the FSB was responsible for carrying out the attacks.” She emphatically added this, “It is inconceivable that the bombings were done without the sanction of Putin.
He then used the resulting panic caused by what the Russians termed a “Chechen terrorist attack,” to crack down on the Chechens and present himself as a savior of sorts.
Putin used the bombings to start the Second Chechen War. That massive invasion by Russian forces was among the most brutal in history. It resulted in thousands of refugees, killed over 25,000 civilians and left Grozny, the Chechen capital so totally destroyed as to be unrecognizable.
But Chechnya is not alone. Putin has seen to it that Russian and Pro-Russian forces in the Eastern Ukraine a war in which over 10,000 people have already lost their lives.
The number of brutal and murderous moves by Putin could fill several books, but I’ll close my report with an example everyone will remember. It was Putin and his proxies who on the 17th of July in 2014 shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 killing all of the 298 innocent passengers and crew.
Putin’s ruthlessness is unmatched and his record is clear. He and his country are seen as international pariahs by most western governments. He is known as a brutal dictator who will capture, torture and kill innocent people. He has already shown a willingness to invade his neighbors and he will continue to push the boundaries of acceptable behavior until someone stops him. The only forces capable of doing that are the countries involved in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO was established to keep the old Soviet Union in check. When it dissolved the mission remained the same only the name (Soviet Union) was changed (Russia) because the danger had not diminished.
If we continue to defend Putin and his military adventures in the region. We could find ourselves in a position of defending Russia against NATO.
One can only come to one of three conclusions on this issue. Either the President of the United States is a traitor because he supports giving aid and comfort to an established enemy of our country, or, he is indebted to certain Russian interests and is being blackmailed by Vladimir Putin or (and this takes us back being a traitor) he has substantial financial interests in the region that might be jeopardized by opposing Putin. . No other explanation makes any sense.
And from where I sit, that’s the truth!