America’s history of aiding and comforting Putin
In an MSNBC interview former First Lady Hillary Clinton – in her obvious attempt to re-emerge in presidential politics – said that any American who gives “aid and comfort to Putin” should be called out. I agree. So let’s call out a few of them.
In leveling those accusations, she should have considered the gross hypocrisy of her statements. After all, hubby President Bill Clinton was giving “aid and comfort to Putin” by doing nothing when the Madman of Moscow turned Chechnya into a killing field in 1994.
President George W. Bush gave “aid and comfort” to Putin when he invaded Georgia in 2008. The American response was so timid that few folks even remember that war. Earlier, Bush had given Putin a bit of a diplomatic imprimatur when he declared that he looked into his eyes and saw Putin’s soul and saw an honest man.
And we should not forget how Hillary Clinton, as President Obama’s Secretary of State, traveled to Moscow with that silly toy reset button to give “aid and comfort to Putin.” The button said “Reset” in English and supposedly reset in Russian. It runed out to be a bit of a diplomatic faux pax when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out that the Russian word on the button, Peregruzka, meant “overcharge.”
Obama was caught on mic whispering direct “aid and comfort” to Putin — telling Russia’s interim puppet President Dmitry Medvedev that he should report to Putin (the person really in charge) that he, Obama, would have more flexibility on defense, NATO and other issues of concern to Putin after the 2012 presidential election.
We should also remember how Obama gave “aid and comfort” to the Russian despot when Putin was proven to be meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election. Obama did not inform the candidates or the nation until after the election. When it was revealed to the public that Obama knew in advance, he was asked what he did about it. Obama replied that he told Putin not to do that anymore. That must have a very comforting response for Putin.
Obama again gave “aid and comfort” to Putin when he took no meaningful action after the Russian despot invaded and annexed the Crimea – a part of sovereign Ukraine. Obama also gave “aid and comfort” to Putin by refusing to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine. A policy that President Trump reversed.
But Trump gave “aid and comfort” to Putin by allowing Moscow to direct a separatist war in the Donbass Regions of Ukraine – and on other occasions, said nice things about Putin.
And now it is President Biden who is “aiding and comforting” Putin by failing to put up a sufficiently strong opposition to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. We can say without fear of refutation that everything Biden has done did not discomfort Putin sufficiently to stop or reconsider the invasion of Ukraine. Rejecting stronger sanctions, providing fighter jets and rejecting a no-fly zone all aided and comforted Putin
Presidents – Republican and Democrat – have been aiding and comforting Putin for too many years by ineffective or nonexistent responses to his periodic warring on peaceful nations and sovereign regions. In his maniacal dream of re-assembling the old Soviet Union, Putin has had one victory after another – sometimes extending Russian hegemony over entire nations and sometimes biting off pieces of geography. Each victory led to a future ambition.
I once made a joke that if Putin took back all those European nations that once were part of the old Soviet Union, he would start coveting Alaska – which the United States purchased from Russia in 1867. Maybe not as outrageous as it seemed at that time. Every uninterrupted successful land grab by Putin will most surely lead to another – until he is stopped. And that will take more than diplomatic talk, condemnations and sanctions. Limiting American response to proven failed policies is what has given “aid and comfort” to Putin ever since he came into power in 2000.
We must do more than call out those who have aided and provided comfort to Putin in the past. We need to stop him … period.
So, there ‘tis.