Despite MSM claims, Trump tougher on Russia than previous presidents.
By S.T. Patrick
As CNN was revving up their fanciful yet dire warnings of a second Russian takeover of U.S. elections, President Donald Trump’s administration threw them a baffling curveball. According to CNN’s Kylie Atwood, “The Trump administration is threatening Russia that they could increase the cost of extending the one remaining nuclear weapons treaty between the two countries if Moscow does not commit to meeting U.S. demands, including agreeing to stronger verification measures, before the American presidential election in November.”
It would be understandable if the administration’s decision sent CNN scurrying around the newsroom looking for a way to further prove that Trump was soft on Russia, the same way that John F. Kennedy was accused of being “soft on communism” because he sought a dialogue with Nikita Khrushchev. This has been the bread and butter for CNN and MSNBC for four years. Trump’s hawkishness on Russia in late September, unilaterally insisting on stronger nuclear verification measures that benefit only the U.S. and not Russia, must have confounded CNN, which has spent the better part of a week parading every former intelligence “expert” across its panels to regurgitate the idea that it’s either “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “concerning” that Russia “may” attempt to spread disinformation about the upcoming U.S. election.
The truth, however, isn’t just stranger than fiction; actually, it’s simpler. Trump’s hawkishness on Russia is a pattern and not an anomaly.
In 2018, President Trump’s Department of Defense (DOD) rolled out a Nuclear Posture Review that was called “its toughest line yet against Russia’s resurgent nuclear forces.” Specifically aimed at Russian strength, the review featured newer “low-yield” nuclear weapons that are more “useable” and, thus, more dangerous.
The mainstream media also forgets that President Trump actively armed Ukraine, which is a proximal enemy of the establishment Russian oligarchs that Vladimir Putin represents. And many Democrats have yet to realize that it was their constant propagandizing over Russiagate that pushed the administration to both over-allocate on anti-Russian programs in the National Defense Authorization Act and arm Ukraine as a counter to what was seen by those such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as an omnipresent Russian influence. The hysteria resulted in a blank check to the DoD to counter the supposed Russia-fication of the entire world and the administration filled in the bloated numbers needed to appease the military-industrial complex, all in the name of the next “Red Scare.”
The moves to counter and exceed Russian militarization have been excessively hawkish. The Trump administration has also sent war ships into the Black Sea to counter the increasing Russian presence. In Syria, American soldiers have killed both Russian soldiers and civilians. Russia has opposed the U.S. involvement in Syria, as Trump has made it no secret that he is forcing a presence there to both control the Syrian oil and keep it from President Bashar al Assad’s own government. Russia has opposed the Americans in Syria at every step. Russia’s defense ministry stated, “Washington’s current actions—capturing and maintaining military control over oil fields in eastern Syria—is, simply put, international state banditry.” Russia accused President Trump of protecting oil smugglers and acting illegally in Syria.
Weeks after taking office in January 2017, President Trump sent tanks to Estonia to patrol the Russian border as part of a NATO-led anti-Russian operation. In 2018, the administration allowed Poland to sign the largest arms procurement deal in its history, buying Raytheon’s Patriot missile defense system for $4.7 billion.
As if it isn’t clear enough that President Trump has spent four years poking the Russian bear, the move in Venezuela to stage an intel-backed coup against President Nicolas Maduro ignited sharp criticism from Putin and Russian allies in Venezuela. The starvation sanctions alone have been estimated to have killed tens of thousands of Venezuelans. President Trump withdrew from the International Monetary Fund Treaty, which the UN secretary-general called an “invaluable brake on nuclear war.” The administration has also signaled that it would withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows some accountability by enabling both countries to fly reconnaissance flights over the other.
Then, just when you thought the president would need his supposed allies in the Russian media—RT and Sputnik—to support him in America, where both now have wide coverage, the administration forced both news agencies to register as foreign agents. They must now add a disclaimer on every story and semi-annually report all funding to the Department of Justice.
Does this sound like a president who is in the hip pocket of the Russians?
Neither this writer nor American Free Press are applauding all the actions illustrated above. Some may be wise, but others are obviously dangerous and irresponsible. However, they all show a president that is not a Russian familiar sitting atop the shoulder of Putin, awaiting the next set of orders.
There still exists a cabal of national leaders that believe that the past four years have all been designed to place a new Trump Tower and presidential library in the middle of Red Square. These leaders and their journalistic mouthpieces are still taken seriously by the millions that watch them and the dwindling numbers that read them. But now, more than ever, it is the responsibility of the consumer to find and support trustworthy news outlets. They exist on both the right and the left. This generation of mainstream media journalists, however, may never be able to extract themselves from the Russian hysteria that has consumed them.
S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected]. He is also an occasional contributor to TBR history magazine and the current managing editor of Deep Truth Journal (DTJ), a new conspiracy-focused publication available from the AFP Online Store.