Jesus Christ!! Are people really this stupid and uninformed. Donald Trump caught a question about Vladimir Putin from an indignant Bill O’Reilly and Trump’s answer has ignited another round of faux outrage, with many in the chattering class dashing for the nearest fainting couch. Oh, the humanity. Here’s what Trump said:
Asked by the host, Bill O’Reilly, if he respected Putin, Trump replied: “I do respect Putin.
“Will I get along with him? I have no idea. It’s very possible I won’t.”
O’Reilly said: “He’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”
“There are a lot of killers,” Trump replied. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”
This led to one of the most ridiculous exercises in blind sanctimony and hypocritical self-righteous posturing:
Former Gen. Barry McCaffrey on Monday said President Donald Trump’s recent comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin may be “the most anti-American statement” ever made by a commander-in-chief.
“I’m actually incredulous that the president would make a statement like that,” McCaffrey told MSNBC.
“One could argue that’s the most anti-American statement ever made by the president of the United States. To confuse American values with Putin, who is running a criminal oligarchy.”
Let me suggest that criminality is in the eye of the beholder. How about Richard Nixon and his secret bombing of Cambodia?
In mid-March 1969, President Richard Nixon launched “Operation Breakfast,” the first assault in the first stage of the Henry Kissinger-inspired covert carpet-bombing of defenseless and neutral Cambodia.
From the start of this surreptitious warfare, records were falsified to hide the attacks. They were reported as strikes against Communist forces within Vietnam.
In the first attack, scores of Guam-based B-52 Stratofortresses—operating in waves—struck enemy ammunition dumps, fuel depots and troop concentrations three miles inside the Cambodian border. Initial reports indicated that North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces there had been disabled.
It is true that Nixon and Kissinger came up with some dandy justifications for this illegal action that killed civilians and that most Americans did not care. We chalked it up to being just one of the vagaries of war.
Then there is the nasty business of promoting and even trying to assassinate foreign leaders (this is the link to the Church Report on the subject). Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon were implicated in these attacks:
Patrice Lumumba (Corgo/Zaire).-In the Fall of 1960, two CIA officials were asked by superiors to assassinate Lumumba. Poisons were sent to the Congo and some exploratory steps were taken toward gaining access to Lumumba. Subsequently, in early 1961, Lumumba was killed by Congolese rivals. It does not appear from the evidence that the United States was in any way involved in the killing.
Fidel Castro (Cuba).- United States Government personnel plotted to kill Castro from 1960 to 1965. American underworld figures and Cubans hostile to Castro were used in these plots, and were provided encouragement and material support by the United States.
Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic) .- Trujillo was shot by Dominican dissidents on May 31, 1961. From early in 1960 and continuing to the time of the assassination, the United States Government generally supported these dissidents. Some Government personnel were aware that the dissidents intended to kill Trujillo. Three pistols and three carbines were furnished by American officials, although a request for machine guns was later refused. There is conflicting evidence con- cerning whether the weapons were knowingly supplied for use in the assassination and whether any of them were present at the scene.
General Rene Schweider (Chile).-On October 25, 1970, General Schneider died of gunshot wounds inflicted three days earlier while resisting a kidnap attempt. Schneider, as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and a constitutionalist opposed to military coups, was considered an obstacle in efforts to prevent Salvador Allende from assuming the office of President of Chile. The United States Government supported, and sought to instigate a military coup to block Allende. U.S. officials supplied financial aid, machine guns and other equipment to various military figures who opposed Allende. Although the CIA con- tinued to support coup plotters up to Schneider’s shooting, the record indicates that the CIA had withdrawn active support of the group which carried out the actual kidnap attempt on October 22, which resulted in Schneider’s death. Further, it does not appear that any of the equipment supplied by the CIA to coup plotters in Chile was used in the kidnapping. There is no evidence of a plan to kill Schneider or that United States officials specifically anticipated that Schneider would be shot during the abduction.
I am not endorsing nor excusing Putin. But I am going with the motto that people who live in a glass house should not throw rocks. America has a lot of glass in its political mansion.
I just heard Jon Meachem refer to Russia on Bill O’Reilly’s show as “our historic enemy.” Really? I seem to recall that there was something called WW II and that we had an ally named Stalin. Russia was not our enemy back then. And yes, Stalin was a killer. His decisions and orders led to the deaths of millions. Yet, we found a way to work with him. That old thing called, “the ends justifies the means.”
Here is a hard truth. George W Bush and Barack Obama ordered military actions and assassinations that killed thousands of civilians in places like Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan. Sure, we have really good reasons for killing those people (at least that is what we tell ourselves) but I would wager that a Martian asked to judge the difference among Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama and George W. Bush would conclude that Obama and Bush killed thousands more than Vladimir Putin. But why should we let pesky facts get in the way of our blind nationalism?