by Dov Fischer
Sometimes we need time to pass and distance to extend to gain fuller perspective on what we did not see contemporaneously from too close. Indeed, G-d tells Moses that no person can see His face (which I teach as meaning an up-close encounter) and live, but people can see the back of G-d’s head (which I teach as meaning a more distant previous encounter, growing ever more distant). See Exodus 33:18-23.
In their October 22, 2012, debate, Obama mocked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for expressing concern about Russia and Vladimir Putin:
Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al Qaeda is a threat because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
As was Romney’s wont on all matters non-Trump, he became tongue-tied and impotent the moment he was challenged. Obama won on points. Putin for the knockout.
When Donald Trump sought the presidency, however, Democrats whose liberal turn had consigned the Cold War and the Kennedy Cuban Missile Crisis to derision suddenly decided that Russia and Putin actually could be useful to have as a “world’s worst problem” on some level. At least enough so that, if handled masterfully, Russia and Putin could be converted into electoral allies to help Hillary Clinton at the polls. Suddenly, Democrats said Russia was our most fearsome antagonist, with Trump treasonably in cahoots. We all know the sordid tale: Clinton cash, the Perkins-Coie law firm, Fusion GPS, the Steele Dossier, Strzok and his lover Page, Comey and FBI corruption, leaks to the New York Times via a Columbia law professor, John Brennan, McCabe — the whole fetid, putrid lot of them. All bit players in a Clinton–Media Academy Award entry “The Russia Hoax.” At its core, Trump was in bed with Moscow, from political corruption to other sprinkled rumors, and Putin now supposedly had the goods, compromising him forever.
None of this — no real Putin problems — existed from 2016 to 2020. Trump knew how to handle Putin.
We experienced two years, 448 pages, and $32 million of Mueller. In short order, we found that Mueller found nothing, depleting chunks of his reputation and cognition along the way. There had been no Trump–Russian collusion. The Great Russia Hoax instead had been a Clinton hoax on the American people, perhaps the most egregious political crime in American history. That chapter remains open, exposed now to John Durham and later to historians. Clinton corruption will be remembered alongside Harding, Buchanan, LBJ, and as some prefer regarding Watergate.
Time moved on, as it does for all except Joe Biden. The Soviet Union had fallen in 1991. We had seen and learned more about Boris Yeltsin — alternately standing on a tank … or being too tanked to stand. There had been Gorbachev and “Perestroika” and “Glasnost.” But always there was Vladimir Putin. To his credit, he is the first leader of Russia since Noah and the Ark who does not employ state-sponsored anti-Semitism for political gain. I give him that. And he is the master player. He has outlasted them all — Bushes, Clintons, Obama, Trump, Merkel, all the EU leaders, his opponents back home who seem to sustain unusually severe exotic illnesses that make COVID and its origins seem as unremarkable as an Excedrin headache and who die from outlier causes like umbrella-point pricks and defenestrations (window tumbles). If Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund would always have Paris, the rest of us will always have Putin.
With Communism’s fall, Ukraine became free, as did so many other of the USSR-imprisoned republics: Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and such. Indeed, in the 10th and 11th centuries, Kyiv was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. In time, others set their sights on Ukraine, but it deserves its place among nations as a free country. In a world where the anti-Semitic want to replace an Israel with a phoney country (“Palestine”) that would be populated by a phoney non-people who were fabricated only in 1964 (“Palestinians”), Ukrainians are a worthy people, have a land, a legitimate country among nations.
During the Trump years, Democrats’ Resistance fixated over Ukraine and never-ending pipe dreams of ousting America’s duly elected chief executive. Hunter Biden, a crook and drug addict, was paid $50,000 monthly to sit on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company. Though greasy, crude, and oily, he knows nothing of fossil-based crude oil, sweet or otherwise. Though full of natural gas, he knows nothing of fossil-based gas. And he knows nothing of Ukraine. As we learned of Hunter, who since has moved onto painting for dollars and seems destined for more greatness as various grand juries take countless hours of testimony from women with whom he has consorted, he has done well financially as a member of the Biden Crime Family. Strange that the boy he denied fathering — until he conceded — was not named Rico.
In time we learned about a guy named Zelensky. An actor like Ronald Reagan, and a comedian, he played the president of Ukraine on a successful comedic TV series. The show was like a cross between West Wing and Yes, [Prime] Minister — only, presumably, when Ukrainian TV politicians say they know where bodies are buried and skeletons are hidden, they mean it. He ended up getting elected real-life president, a sort-of ultimate Netflix/Bravo reality-TV show. With Pelosi determined to run an Impeachment Telethon every Christmas, Zelensky’s name and country came into our homes, as Adam Schiff read perjury into the Congressional Record and minutes of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearings. Thus Ukraine.
We know three things about Putin and Ukraine, and whether Zelensky is going to end up killed or locked in the Gulag for the rest of his life, and whether more Ukrainians next will die at Putin’s initiative than have been slaughtered since Stalin mass-murdered as many as seven million during the Holodomor with the active and criminal assistance of New York Times Russia bureau chief Walter Duranty:
1. None of the present mess happened when Donald Trump was president.
2. Vladimir Putin played by the rules of international comity throughout the Trump years.
3. Biden came in, demonstrated his and Antony Blinken’s foreign affairs chops in Afghanistan, and the whole house of cards came crashing down.
This was predictable from an incompetent who, in but one year, has presided over a complete breakdown of the social order. America successfully was rehabilitating from four Obama years of rot and decay, and Biden proved transformative, introducing chaos marked by America suffering a severe nationwide collapse in urban law and order, a parallel breakdown at the southern border, historic inflation and economic dysfunction, a racial-based social cacophony that has undone racial harmony that reigned — seemingly permanently — only a few years before, a cultural collapse in public education that sees children brainwashed to worry about personal pronouns and whether they are in correctly gendered bodies while being taught lies in history and corrupted math. Quaere whether Puerto Rico even would accept statehood if proffered by Democrats now.
None of this — no real Putin problems — existed from 2016 to 2020. Trump knew how to handle Putin, as he did the North Korean dough boy, the Arab Muslim countries that joined the Abraham Accords, the American economy and overcoming unemployment among Blacks, Hispanics, and women. Trump got the Mexican border controlled, supported ICE and other law enforcement, promoted historically Black universities and colleges, achieved a more racial issues–free society, advanced energy independence, and promoted religious freedom. For all his occasional bluster and disquieting personal flaws, Trump led outstandingly with excellence. He did not push secret-code buttons starting nuclear war. He did not conduct a single chaotic evacuation overseas nor initiate a single war, even as he killed Qasem Soleimani, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Hamza bin Laden, and Abu Hasan al-Muhajir like dogs.
Leftist pundits all predicted he would set the Middle East aflame if he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved America’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognized Israeli sovereignty over Golan, deemed Jewish towns and villages throughout Judea and Samaria legal if Israel’s Supreme Court deemed so. The experts said Trump’s Twitter storms with Kim Jong-un would result in nuclear holocaust starting in Seoul. That his import tariffs would generate an international trade war causing world-wide recession. And, yet, we look back on 2016 through 2020. History judges Trump quite well. As for CNN’s favored presidential successors — Andrew Cuomo, Michael Avenatti — not as well.
It took Biden and Pelosi only one year. NATO now has the American president they wanted, who does not demand they pay their fair defense share. CNN, Perkins-Coie, Fusion GPS, Clintons, Cuomos, Obama, Cardi B, Bidens all have what they wanted. Each looks copacetically in the mirror every morning. They have obtained power.
What exactly else did they want?
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