25 Times Trump Has Been Dangerously Hawkish On Russia

Caitlin Johnstone discredits a CNN listicle on Trump’s “softness” towards Moscow. In fact, she writes, the U.S. president has  actually been consistently reckless towards Moscow, with zero resistance from either party. 

By Caitlin Johnstone

CNN has published a fascinatingly manipulative and falsehood-laden article titled 25 times Trump was soft on Russia,” in which a lot of strained effort is poured into building the case that the U.S. president is suspiciously loyal to the nation against which he has spent his administration escalating dangerous new cold war aggressions.

The items within the CNN article consist mostly of times in which Trump said some words or failed to say other words; “Trump has repeatedly praised Putin,” “Trump refused to say Putin is a killer,” “Trump denied that Russia interfered in 2016,” “Trump made light of Russian hacking,” etc. It also includes the completely false but oft-repeated narrative that “Trump’s team softened the GOP platform on Ukraine”, as well as the utterly ridiculous and thoroughly invalidated claim that “Since intervening in Syria in 2015, the Russian military has focused its airstrikes on anti-government rebels, not ISIS.”

CNN’s 25 items are made up almost entirely of narrative and words; Trump said a nice thing about Putin, Trump said offending things to NATO allies, Trump thought about visiting Putin in Russia, etc. In contrast, the 25 items which I am about to list do not consist of narrative at all, but rather the actual movement of actual concrete objects which can easily lead to an altercation from which there may be no re-emerging. These items show that when you ignore the words and narrative spin and look at what this administration has actually been doing, it’s clear to anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty that, far from being “soft” on Russia, Trump has actually been consistently reckless in the one area where a US president must absolutely always maintain a steady hand. And he’s been doing so with zero resistance from either party.

It would be understandable if you were unaware that Trump has been escalating tensions with Moscow more than any other president since the fall of the Berlin Wall; it’s a fact that neither of America’s two mainstream political factions care about, so it tends to get lost in the shuffle. Trump’s opposition is interested in painting him as a sycophantic Kremlin crony, and his supporters are interested in painting him as an antiwar hero of the people, but he is neither. Observe:

1.   Implementing a Nuclear Posture Review with a more aggressive stance toward Russia

Last year Trump’s Department of Defense rolled out a Nuclear Posture Review which CNN itself called “its toughest line yet against Russia’s resurgent nuclear forces.”

“In its newly released Nuclear Posture Review, the Defense Department has focused much of its multibillion nuclear effort on an updated nuclear deterrence focused on Russia,” CNN reported last year.

This revision of nuclear policy includes the new implementation of  “low-yield” nuclear weapons, which, because they are designed to be more “usable” than conventional nuclear ordinances, have been called “the most dangerous weapon ever” by critics of this insane policy. These weapons, which can remove some of the inhibitions that mutually assured destruction would normally give military commanders, have already been rolled off the assembly line.

2.   Arming Ukraine

Lost in the gibberish about Trump temporarily withholding military aide to supposedly pressure a Ukrainian government who was never even aware of being pressured is the fact that arming Ukraine against Russia is an entirely new policy that was introduced by the Trump administration in the first place. Even the Obama administration, which was plenty hawkish toward Russia in its own right, refused to implement this extremely provocative escalation against Moscow. It was not until Obama was replaced with the worst Putin puppet of all time that this policy was put in place.

3. Bombing Syria

Another escalation Trump took against Russia which Obama wasn’t hawkish enough to also do was bombing the Syrian government, a longtime ally of Moscow. These airstrikes in April 2017 and April 2018 were perpetrated in retaliation for chemical weapons use allegations that there is no legitimate reason to trust at this point.

 4.   Staging coup attempts in Venezuela

Venezuela, another Russian ally, has been the subject of relentless coup attempts from the Trump administration which persist unsuccessfully to this very day. Trump’s attempts to topple the Venezuelan government have been so violent and aggressive that the starvation sanctions which he has implemented are believed to have killed tens of thousands of Venezuelan civilians.

Trump has reportedly spoken frequently of a U.S. military invasion to oust Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, provoking a forceful rebuke from Moscow.

“Signals coming from certain capitals indicating the possibility of external military interference look particularly disquieting,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “We warn against such reckless actions, which threaten catastrophic consequences.”

5.   Withdrawing from the INF treaty

For a president who’s “soft” on Russia, Trump has sure been eager to keep postures between the two nations extremely aggressive in nature. This administration has withdrawn from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, prompting UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to declare that “the world lost an invaluable brake on nuclear war.” It appears entirely possible that Trump will continue to adhere to the John Bolton school of nuclear weapons treaties until they all lie in tatters, with the administration strongly criticizing the crucial New START Treaty which expires in early 2021.

Some particularly demented Russiagaters try to argue that Trump withdrawing from these treaties benefits Russia in some way. These people either (A) believe that treaties only go one way, (B) believe that a nation with an economy the size of South Korea can compete with the U.S. in an arms race, (C) believe that Russians are immune to nuclear radiation, or (D) all of the above. Withdrawing from these treaties benefits no one but the military-industrial complex.

6. Ending the Open Skies Treaty

“The Trump administration has taken steps toward leaving a nearly three-decade-old agreement designed to reduce the risk of war between Russia and the West by allowing both sides to conduct reconnaissance flights over one another’s territories,” The Wall Street Journal reported last month, adding that the administration has alleged that “Russia has interfered with American monitoring flights while using its missions to gather intelligence in the US.”

Again, if you subscribe to the bizarre belief that withdrawing from this treaty benefits Russia, please think harder. Or ask the Russians themselves how they feel about it:

“US plans to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons and multiply the risks for the whole world, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said,” Sputnik reports.

“All this negatively affects the predictability of the military-strategic situation and lowers the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, which drastically increases the risks for the whole humanity,” Patrushev said.

“In general, it is becoming apparent that Washington intends to use its technological leadership in order to maintain strategic dominance in the information space by actually pursuing a policy of imposing its conditions on states that are lagging behind in digital development,” he added.

7. Selling Patriot missiles to Poland

“Poland signed the largest arms procurement deal in its history on Wednesday, agreeing with the United States to buy Raytheon Co’s Patriot missile defense system for $4.75 billion in a major step to modernize its forces against a bolder Russia,” Reuters reported last year.

8. Occupying Syrian oil fields

The Trump administration has been open about the fact that it is not only maintaining a military presence in Syria to control the nation’s oil, but that it is doing so in order to deprive the nation’s government of that financial resource. Syria’s ally Russia strongly opposes this, accusing the Trump administration of nothing short of “international state banditry”.

“In a statement, Russia’s defense ministry said Washington had no mandate under international or US law to increase its military presence in Syria and said its plan was not motivated by genuine security concerns in the region,” Reuters reported last month.

“Therefore Washington’s current actions – capturing and maintaining military control over oil fields in eastern Syria – is, simply put, international state banditry,” Russia’s defense ministry said.

9. Killing Russians in Syria

Reports have placed Russian casualties anywhere between a handful and hundreds, but whatever the exact number the U.S. military is known to have killed Russian citizens as part of the Trump administration’s ongoing Syria occupation in an altercation last year.

10. Tanks in Estonia

Within weeks of taking office, Trump was already sending Abrams battle tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other military hardware right up to Russia’s border as part of a NATO operation.

“Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued US commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America’s dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine,” the Defense Department said in a statement.

11. War ships in the Black Sea

12. Sanctions

Trump approved new sanctions against Russia on August 2017. CNN reports the following:

“US President Donald Trump approved fresh sanctions on Russia Wednesday after Congress showed overwhelming bipartisan support for the new measures,” CNN reported at the time. “Congress passed the bill last week in response to Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election, as well as its human rights violations, annexation of Crimea and military operations in eastern Ukraine. The bill’s passage drew ire from Moscow — which responded by stripping 755 staff members and two properties from US missions in the country — all but crushing any hope for the reset in US-Russian relations that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had called for.”

“A full-fledged trade war has been declared on Russia,” said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in response.

13. More sanctions

“The United States imposed sanctions on five Russian individuals on Wednesday, including the leader of the Republic of Chechnya, for alleged human rights abuses and involvement in criminal conspiracies, a sign that the Trump administration is ratcheting up pressure on Russia,” The New York Times reported in December 2017.

14. Still more sanctions

“Trump just hit Russian oligarchs with the most aggressive sanctions yet,” reads aVice headline from April of last year.

“The sanctions target seven oligarchs and 12 companies under their ownership or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank,” Vice reports. “While the move is aimed, in part, at Russia’s role in the U.S. 2016 election, senior U.S. government officials also stressed that the new measures seek to penalize Russia’s recent bout of international troublemaking more broadly, including its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and military activity in eastern Ukraine.”

15. Even more sanctions

The Trump administration hit Russia with more sanctions for the alleged Skripal poisoning in August of last year, then hit them with another round of sanctions for the same reason again in August of this year.

16. Guess what? MORE sanctions

“The Trump administration on Thursday imposed new sanctions on a dozen individuals and entities in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea,” The Hill reported in November of last year. “The group includes a company linked to Bank Rossiya and Russian businessman Yuri Kovalchuk and others accused of operating in Crimea, which the U.S. says Russia seized illegally in 2014.”

17. Oh hey, more sanctions

“Today, the United States continues to take action in response to Russian attempts to influence US democratic processes by imposing sanctions on four entities and seven individuals associated with the Internet Research Agency and its financier, Yevgeniy Prigozhin. This action increases pressure on Prigozhin by targeting his luxury assets, including three aircraft and a vessel,” reads a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from September of this year.

18. Secondary sanctions

Secondary sanctions are economic sanctions in which a third party is punished for breaching the primary sanctions of the sanctioning body. The U.S. has leveled sanctions against both China and Turkey for purchasing Russian S-400 air defense missiles, and it is threatening to do so to India as well.

19. Forcing Russian media to register as foreign agents

Both RT and Sputnik have been forced to register as “foreign agents” by the Trump administration. This classification forced the outlets to post a disclaimer on content, to report their activities and funding sources to the Department of Justice twice a year, and could arguably place an unrealistic burden on all their social media activities as it submits to DOJ micromanagement.

20. Throwing out Russian diplomats

The Trump administration joined some 20 other nations in casting out scores of Russian diplomats as an immediate response to the Skripal poisoning incident in the U.K.

21. Training Polish and Latvian fighters “to resist Russian aggression”

“US Army Special Forces soldiers completed the first irregular and unconventional warfare training iteration for members of the Polish Territorial Defense Forces and Latvian Zemmessardze as a part of the Ridge Runner program in West Virginia, according to service officials,” Army Times reported this past July.

“U.S. special operations forces have been training more with allies from the Baltic states and other Eastern European nations in the wake of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014,” Army Times writes. “A low-level conflict continues to simmer in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region between Russian-backed separatists and government forces to this day. The conflict spurred the Baltics into action, as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia embraced the concepts of total defense and unconventional warfare, combining active-duty, national guard and reserve-styled forces to each take on different missions to resist Russian aggression and even occupation.”

22. Refusal to recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation

…even while acknowledging Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights as perfectly legal and legitimate.

23. Sending 1,000 troops to Poland

From the September article 1000 US Troops Are Headed to Poland by National Interest:

Key point: Trump agreed to send more forces to Poland to defend it against Russia.

What Happened: U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to deploy approximately 1,000 additional U.S. troops to Poland during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, Reuters reported Sept. 23.

Why It Matters: The deal, which formalizes the United States’ commitment to protecting Poland from Russia, provides a diplomatic victory to Duda and his governing Law and Justice ahead of November elections. The additional U.S. troops will likely prompt a reactive military buildup from Moscow in places like neighboring Kaliningrad and, potentially, Belarus.

24. Withdrawing from the Iran deal

Russia has been consistently opposed to Trump’s destruction of the JCPOA. In a statement after Trump killed the deal, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was “deeply disappointed by the decision of US President Donald Trump to unilaterally refuse to carry out commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”, adding that this administration’s actions were “trampling on the norms of international law”.

25. Attacking Russian gas interests

Trump has been threatening Germany with sanctions and troop withdrawal if it continues to support a gas pipeline from Russia called Nord Stream 2.

“Echoing previous threats about German support for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Trump said he’s looking at sanctions to block the project he’s warned would leave Berlin ‘captive’ to Moscow,” Bloomberg reports. “The US also hopes to export its own liquefied natural gas to Germany.”

“We’re protecting Germany from Russia, and Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars in money from Germany” for its gas, Trump told the press.

I could have kept going, but that’s my 25. The only reason anyone still believes Trump is anything other than insanely hawkish toward Russia is because it doesn’t benefit anyone’s partisanship or profit margins to call it like it really is. The facts are right here as plain as can be, but there’s a difference between facts and narrative. If they wanted to, the political/media class could very easily use the facts I just laid out to weave the narrative that this president is imperiling us all with dangerous new cold war provocations, but that’s how different narrative is from fact; there’s almost no connection. Instead they use a light sprinkling of fact to weave a narrative that has very little to do with reality. And meanwhile the insane escalations continue.

In a cold war, it only takes one miscommunication or one defective piece of equipment to set off a chain of events that can obliterate all life on earth. The more things escalate, the greater the probability of that happening. We’re rolling the dice on Armageddon every single day, and with every escalation the number we need to beat gets a bit harder.

We should not be rolling the dice on this. This is very, very wrong, and the U.S. and Russia should stop and establish detente immediately. The fact that outlets like CNN would rather diddle made-up Russiagate narratives than point to this obvious fact with truthful reporting is in and of itself sufficient to discredit them all forever.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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30 comments for “25 Times Trump Has Been Dangerously Hawkish On Russia

  1. November 20, 2019 at 11:28

    Our historians here seem to be forgetting the brutal takeover of Ukraine by the USSR in the 50’s, in which millions of Ukrainians were shot, raped, beaten and starved out, while “ethnic Russians” moved in and took over. Kruschev didn’t “give” Crimea away, he simply transferred the administration thereof to the Soviet Republic of “the” Ukraine (a term Ukranians have always decried as a way to make it seem as if Ukraine had always been a part of the USSR). The “ethnic Russians” wouldn’t have been there at all if the Soviets hadn’t put them there. That argument is the same one Hitler used as his excuse to annex Poland, and Polk used to annex Texas. It’s true Russia’s self-interest (and well-founded fears of foreign betrayal) have been largely ignored, but it’s also disingenuous to ignore their murderous 20th-century imperialism. Just because we’re not the good guys doesn’t mean they are either.

    • anon4d2
      November 20, 2019 at 18:12

      Perhaps you forgot that the USSR actions in eastern Europe after WWII were in direct response to the murder of 20 million Russians in WWII by the Nazi forces, attacking through E Europe just as Napoleon had done. All US casualties in all its wars are less than five percent of that, and 95 percent of Nazi division-months were spent in the USSR. On that front they had nearly all of the casualties and did nearly all of the fighting. No wonder they were a bit uncomfortable afterward with leaving open the favorite attack route of the west. What would the US have done if a hundred times its WWII casualties were caused by two invasions through (for example) Mexico? Would we have left the door open? Such circumstances cannot be ignored. Starting one’s version of history after the world’s greatest provocation cannot be said to clarify the history.

    • Toby McCrossin
      November 21, 2019 at 02:56

      “Our historians here seem to be forgetting the brutal takeover of Ukraine by the USSR in the 50’s”

      Nice alternative facts. Ukraine was one of the original constituent republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics…in 1922!

      ” Kruschev didn’t “give” Crimea away”

      Huh? Crimea had been part of Russia since 1783. You know you can check this stuff yourself using Google, right?

      “The “ethnic Russians” wouldn’t have been there at all if the Soviets hadn’t put them there.”

      Right, so the Soviets put the Russians in Crimea in 1783, 139 years before it was in existence. I guess the Soviets mastered time travel.

      I know reading’s hard and all but you might wanna try it some time.

  2. Jon Anderholm
    November 20, 2019 at 02:22

    An essential article by Caitlin….. Thanks so much….

  3. Sam F
    November 19, 2019 at 22:56

    Another excellent article by Caitlin Johnstone.

  4. Jeff G.
    November 19, 2019 at 19:59

    Given the laws of cause and effect, our nuclear missiles might as well be considered to be pointed straight at ourselves. Like shooting at one’s image in a mirror or joining in a mutual suicide pact. Sheer insanity.

  5. ranney
    November 19, 2019 at 17:26

    WONDERFUL article, Caitlin. You are so right! I agree with Alan Ross, you deserve an award for this, and I hope this gets passed around for a wide readership.

  6. Antonio Costa
    November 19, 2019 at 15:14

    When elected POTUS you are elected, no matter the campaign rhetoric, to take the reins of the imperial empire.

    Trump did that willingly, in fact to a fault given his “big mouth”. He’s no more nor less dangerous than his predecessors. And like them, his is a mass of rhetorical contradictions. Policy is all that should really matters. It is our only means of identifying some truth.

    Trump knows what most here know regarding US invasions and assassinations. What he thinks about any leader is anyone’s guess (including his). For him it’s all deal making as if it’s his private Trump Towers Enterprises. But in the end he’s playing the chief gangsta role of his like. (If you’ve ever listened to Sinatra at the Sands (the full concert), you’ll hear how Trump has mimicked the popular gangsta singer to the last “love ya baby…”).

    The media is not free. It is an arm of the national security state, with occasional outages of truth telling, all the more to tell the big lies. It’s purpose is to pacify and repress any rebellions. Since the end of Vietnam it has succeeded. And here we are, never knowing truth from lie. (I think of Obama as deceitful to the max, while Trump just tells transparent lies so you don’t know when he’s actually telling a profound truth.)

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    — Joseph Goebbels (was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945)

  7. Mark Thomason
    November 19, 2019 at 14:22

    We can go one step further than to say that Trump was reckless toward Russia, “with zero resistance from either party.”

    Both parties demanded it. They approved it as “Presidential” whenever he did it, and attacked him for any effort to be less reckless. They’d done the same to Obama, but Trump proved weaker and more malleable.

  8. Jeff Harrison
    November 19, 2019 at 14:14

    Verra nice peroration. I have two objections. One, I doubt that the people of the Donbass are Russian backed in the same sense that the “moderate” rebel scum in Syria is US backed with weapons, intelligence, and training but the people of the Donbass are ethnic Russians. With a steady stream of anti-Russian legislation coming out of Kiev, I imagine they’re looking for an out. Putin is trying to get it for them without starting a war with Ukraine. The real question that Washington has yet to address is what are they going to do if the people of Ukraine notice that since they signed on to the neo-liberal dictates of Washington and Brussels they’ve become the poorest nation in Europe. I know that there are a number of Ukrainians who think wistfully of the days when they were part of Mother Russia. But you never know, the CIA is notorious for its subversion and the Ukrainians might prove to be spectacularly stupid. After all, they weren’t doing badly until they let the US and EU foment a coup for them.

    And, two, “We should not be rolling the dice on this. This is very, very wrong, and the U.S. and Russia should stop and establish detente immediately.” While I agree with the sentiment, don’t bring Russia into this. Everything that Russia has done has been a reaction to what is usually an American violation of international law. Putin has been very clear that he wants to back off this cold war but he has also been very clear that we started it and we’re going to have to be the ones to start backing off.

    • David Hamilton
      November 20, 2019 at 02:11

      I absolutely agree with your number two reaction to Caitlin’s suggestion that Russia and the U.S. should stop it and establish detente immediately. Everything Russia’s leadership is doing is a reaction to American imperial dares to defy their law violations. They exhibit extreme and principled restraint to the Orwellian madness emanating from this place.

      I think it is important that this be understood. Russians have been used and abused once before by American largesse in the form of Clinton’s puppet’s assistance in the rape of the former Soviet Union by the Harvard-sponsored project. That was the one during the nineties that privatized national industries and created a dozen neoliberal oligarchs. The cost was a huge increase in death rate that lowered life expectancy into the 50’s from 70 years I think. Cynical foreign policy, isn’t it?

  9. Lois Gagnon
    November 19, 2019 at 13:16

    Anyone who has not read Orwell’s 1984 should do so sooner rather than later. The official control of narrative in the novel is what we are presently drowning in. To watch it work so spectacularly is beyond depressing.

    Many thanks to Caitlin Johnstone, Consortium News and all the others pushing back against this system of perception management. I keep repeating it because it rings true. It’s like waking up in the Twilight Zone.

  10. John Neal Spangler
    November 19, 2019 at 12:44

    She is right. CNN. MSNBC, NYT, and Wapo totally irresponsible. Fox not much better. So many anti-Russian bigots in US

  11. Jimmy gates
    November 19, 2019 at 12:37

    Thank you Caitlin. The neoliberals and neocons both desperately want a greatly intensified cold war with Russia, but want it started by Trump ( because he is personally an outsider).
    This gives the Democrat and Republican donors contracts for the war machine. Ever since Clinton administration moved NATO to the Russian border, the process has worked for the oligarchs who control all US policies, foreign and domestic.

  12. November 19, 2019 at 12:20

    The complete corruption of Western MSM is the reason many of us regularly read Caitlin and Consortium, all desperately trying to get some sort of a reality-check in an otherwise “Orwellian” media environment.

    For anyone who has been waiting for the publication of reporter Udo Ulfkotte’s best selling book (in Germany), a book based on his experience as a well respected journalist whose reporting was completely compromised by Western intelligence services and business interests, it is finally available in an English language edition. The English language edition has been quite obviously suppressed for the last several years and the book was published in 9 languages BEFORE this English edition became available. It is a book that is well worth reading to better understand why literally NOTHING written by MSM should be believed at face value, ever:

    • Skip Scott
      November 19, 2019 at 15:34

      I would urge anyone interested in buying this book to get it directly from the publisher- Progressive Press. Amazon and other mega monopolies are a big part of our problems. Take the time to make a few extra clicks and boycott Jeff Bezos.

    • Bob Van Noy
      November 19, 2019 at 17:22

      Got it Gary Weglarz, thank you.

  13. Noah Way
    November 19, 2019 at 10:58

    The simple truth here is that in regard to the military (read ‘military complex’, which includes the deep state and shadow government [intelligence agencies] every president is a puppet. Nobel Peace Prize winner oBOMBa bombed 7 countries, overthrew Ukraine’s democratic government, invaded Syria, armed terrorists as proxy armies, authorized drone assassinations, and bombed a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

    The last president to resist the military complex? JFK

  14. November 19, 2019 at 10:19

    Caitlin Johnstone’s list points to growing tensions with Russia. Failure of the political and media establishment to see this makes the task of avoiding world war three all the more difficult. In the West the end of the Cold War was seen as the dawn of peace. But the Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment: we are now in a pre-world war environment.

  15. November 19, 2019 at 10:06

    I have a question about #2 please: arming Ukraine. The Obama administration convinced Ukraine to disarm, with a promise to defend them if they were attacked. This seemed like utter madness. Was Obama really prepared to open direct hostilities with Russia if they did so? Which they promptly did, annexing Crimea, and of course Obama did nothing, which he did best. This also begs the question: why would the US accept Crimea as part of Russia? We have never accepted the occupied areas of Palestine as part of Israel, and for the same reasons: Russia forcibly occupied Crimea, against international law and treaties. Overall I completely agree with the article. Democrats are so blinded by their own (false) narrative against Trump they miss the very things he is actually doing for which they should be attacking him.

    • Jimmy gates
      November 19, 2019 at 12:45

      The Democratic Party members have not “ missed” anything that Trump has done. They will not impeach him on those grounds, because they too are guilty of complicity in those war crimes.
      As Pelosi said regarding impeaching GWB for the torture program or invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan “ it’s off the table”. Because she was complicit.

    • Lois Gagnon
      November 19, 2019 at 13:23

      Russia did not illegally annex Crimea. A referendum was held and 90% of the voters voted to rejoin Russia. Most people in Crimea are ethnic Russians and speak Russian. They were understandably scared to death of what their fate would be under the rule of the fascists the US installed in Ukraine.

      And frankly, Russia had every right to protect its only warm water port in Sevastopol that would have been taken over by NATO if Crimea had remained part of Ukraine. Too many Americans have been indoctrinated in the belief that Russia has no legitimate self interest to defend.

    • michael
      November 19, 2019 at 18:22

      In addition to what Lois Gagnon points out, you have to realize that the re-patriation of Crimea to Russia in March 2014 was the direct result of Obama, Biden, Nuland et al overthrowing the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Yanukovych, in the Maidan coup in February, 2014, and replacing him with a neoNAZI regime. Russian speech was outlawed, which has been the language of the majority of Crimea since Catherine the Great.
      The coup in Ukraine was a major provocation to Russia, but was also a repeat of the Americans’ rape and pillaging of Russia under Yeltsin, Clinton’s puppet. The per capita median income of Ukrainians has dropped in half from 2013, despite pumping $billions in from the US.

    • Jeff G.
      November 19, 2019 at 20:25

      Crimeans have an absolute right of self-determination as a fundamental human right under established international law, just as the Kosovars did when we were supporting the breakup of Serbia when Clinton was president. Ethnic Russians voted in an overwhelming majority in a free and fair plebiscite to rejoin Russia, which they had been part of for centuries, because the neo-Nazi US coup government allied with Azov battalions in Kyiv terrified them and they wanted nothing further to do with them. Crimea had every right to decide. Russia did nothing to interfere, not a bullet was fired. Russia’s troops were already stationed in Crimea by treaty and did not invade. Russia warned NATO against the Kosovo precedent that it would come back to bite them someday, and it was ignored. NATO is unhappy because it was denied an illegitimate geostrategic advantage they thought they would gain. Crimea is happy, so what’s the problem?

    • DH Fabian
      November 19, 2019 at 21:08

      “We,” who? Regardless, the issues you raise can’t be understood outside of their historical context, and Americans never try to understand the world within that historical context.

    • anon
      November 19, 2019 at 22:54

      Crimea was part of Russia for roughly 200 years before the USSR premier (Kruschev?) gave it to Ukraine, although its inhabitants were nearly all of Russian heritage and language, like E Ukraine. So not surprising that they wanted to go back to being part of Russia.

    • dean 1000
      November 20, 2019 at 19:26

      Couldn’t agree more Lois Gagnon. Washington did an illegal coup. Russia did a legal annexation.

      btw – The Autonomous Republic of Sevastopol on SW Crimea is no longer the only ice-free port of the Russian Navy. Kaliningrad (on the Baltic sea) has been part of Russia since 1945. Its deep ice-free harbor is the home port of Russia’s Baltic fleet according to the 2012 world book DVD.

      Good one Caitlin. Again

  16. jdd
    November 19, 2019 at 09:51

    This article properly puts to rest the absurd notion that President Trump is a “tool of Putin, ” and correctly notes that it has created a potentially disastrous situation. However, let’s put the blame squarely where it belongs: on the Anglo/American led forces arrayed against Trump from the moment he announced his intention to run on a platform of “getting along” with Russia and joining with Putin to defeat ISIS. Failing impeachment, from the attempts by the Clinton Campaign, to the Congressional sanctions on Russia, to sabotage of Syria withdrawal to the Mueller hoax, to the State Dept hawks protests on Ukraine, the effort to prevent Trump from following through on his campaign promise has been the primary goal of the intelligence community. It is instructive to note that the phone call that has led to the current impeachment inquiry was made on July 26, the day following Robert Mueller’s clownish testimony before Congress, effectively ending that line of impeachment.

    • Nick
      November 19, 2019 at 16:50

      Also note that although the phone call was made in July, nothing was said about it until after John Bolton was fired in September, 2 months later.

  17. Alan Ross
    November 19, 2019 at 09:47

    This article alone deserves an award for public service. And in a more sensibly run world Caitlin Johnstone would have gotten at least fifty such awards for past articles.

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