Bibi Backs Trump — on Putin

Bibi Backs Trump — on Putin, by Pat Buchanan.

Since Donald Trump said that if Vladimir Putin praises him, he would return the compliment, Republican outrage has not abated. …

John McCain told Pence that Putin was a “thug and a butcher,” and Trump’s embrace of him intolerable. …

Let’s get a sense of proportion. The Cold War is long over.

What causes the Republican Party to lose it whenever the name of Vladimir Putin is raised?

Putin is no Stalin, whom FDR and Harry Truman called “Good old Joe” and “Uncle Joe.” Unlike Nikita Khrushchev, he never drowned a Hungarian Revolution in blood. He did crush the Chechen secession. But what did he do there that General Sherman did not do to Atlanta when Georgia seceded from Mr. Lincoln’s Union? …

Still, Putin committed “aggression” in Ukraine, we are told. But was that really aggression, or reflexive strategic reaction? … Moscow did indeed support secessionist pro-Russia rebels in East Ukraine. But did not the U.S. launch a 78-day bombing campaign on tiny Serbia to effect a secession of its cradle province of Kosovo?

Russia is reportedly hacking into our political institutions. If so, it ought to stop. But have not our own CIA, National Endowment for Democracy, and NGOs meddled in Russia’s internal affairs for years?

Putin is a nationalist who looks out for Russia first. He also heads a nation twice the size of ours with an arsenal equal to our own, and no peace in Eurasia can be made without him. We have to deal with him. How does it help to call him names?

Putin is no worse than any number of US friends:

And what is Putin doing in terms of repression to outmatch our NATO ally, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and our Arab ally, Egypt’s General el-Sissi?

Is Putin’s Russia more repressive than Xi Jinping’s China? Yet, Republicans rarely use “thug” when speaking about Xi. …

Scores of the world’s 190-odd nations are today ruled by autocrats. How does it advance our interests or diplomacy by having congressional leaders yapping “thug” at the ruler of a nation with hundreds of nuclear warheads?

A friend of my friend is a friend?

According to foreign policy scholar Stephen Sniegoski, when Putin first visited Israel in 2005, President Moshe Katsav hailed him as a “friend of Israel” and Ariel Sharon said he was “among brothers.” In the last year alone, Bibi Netanyahu has gone to Moscow three times and Putin has visited Israel. The two get along wonderfully well.

hat-tip Stephen Neil