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Monday, February 6, 2017

'WE HAVE LOTS OF KILLERS' - THE MORAL EQUIVALENCE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP

During what has become a traditional Presidential interview prior to every Super Bowl, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly questioned President Trump's "respect" for Russian President Vladimir Putin in an exchange that was a quite chilling example of moral equivalence.
Transcript from SBNation.com
O’Reilly: Do you respect Putin?
Trump: I do respect him but —
O’Reilly: Do you? Why?
Trump:Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.
O’Reilly:But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.
Trump: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent. You think our country’s so innocent?
House Democrat Adam Schiff (CA) said the president's comments were "...as inexplicably bizarre as it is untrue." 
Essentially, President Trump has drawn a direct parallel between America's covert and overt actions to those those of the Russian military and Secret Service and the FSB, the latter two having widely reported to be at least in part responsible for destabilizing the eastern Ukraine.
There is an incredible danger in making this comparison. In one statement President Trump may be misconstrued as legitimizing Russia's actions in the Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine in addition to Russian operations in their puppet state of Syria. This could even embolden the Putin regime to make further destabilizing moves within the sovereign nations along Russian borders. Could President Trump's "I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not" become British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's infamous "Peace in our time?"
When taken in context with the president's previous and seemingly dismissive comments on the Russian annexation of Crimea, the implications are also troubling:
"[T]he people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were."
"So with all of these strong ties to NATO, Ukraine is a mess. Crimea has been taken. Don't blame Donald Trump for that."
It would seem that President Trump has forgotten Russia's great past sin of the Holodomor. The Ukrainian people, however, will not have forgotten so quickly. Nor will the Syrian and Kurdish peoples forget the deafening silence from the Whitehouse that accompanied their suffering. This isn't Yalta, Mr. President. We aren't in a world war, yet. There is no possible justification for ignoring Moscow's thirst for dominance in spite of human costs this time.
Yes, we must defeat ISIS, but we must not sell our souls to do so.
Also published on Lanterns.buzz

Featured image via YouTube

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