Russia: Friend or Foe?

When did Russia start to become an enemy of the US? The Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear missiles aimed at us as we had the same towards them. That Cold War did constitute enemy status. But when was the last time Russia, or even the Soviet Union, ever purposely kill an American, civilian or military personnel? Isn’t that a basic criteria for enemy status? Al Queda is our enemy because they killed thousands in 2001. But in all likelihood, they were backed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. KSA also killed an American citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, but the only ‘punishment’ is more military aide from Washington. In 1967 the Israelis killed 34 US sailors aboard the USS Liberty and injured 171, with the intention of killing them all, and knew it was an American ship. In 2010 Israel point blank executed an American citizen aboard the Mavi Marmara in international waters in the Mediterranean. Why is Israel not considered our enemy?

Maybe it’s because Russia interfered with our 2016 elections. Or did it? Their attempts were, frankly, Mickey Mouse in comparison to what we have already done to them like when Wall Street and Bill Clinton helped to re-elected Yeltsin. The Republican Congress, with Democratic Party acquiescence, allowed Netanyahu and Israel to interfere with our 2016 elections by lobbying Congress in its own well, when it spoke to them in March 2015 against the Iran Nuclear Deal. That it backfired and helped to galvanize support for the deal is irrelevant, as the intent was to humiliate the President before the next year’s election.

Again, why is Russia our enemy? It supports Assad in its fight against ISIS, as Syria is one of the very few countries outside of Mother Russia in which Russia has a foreign military base, and has had a naval base there since 1971. Isn’t ISIS also our enemy (even though Ambassador Stevens allegedly funneled arms from Libya to them in their fight against the Assad government)?

I bring all this up because so many, and especially those who call themselves ‘left’, are pushing the charge of treason against Trump. If being a stooge for Putin is the criteria, then treason among Congress has a very long history, as so many members of Congress have been stooges for one country or another, or at least have been strong supporters, often against US interests. As mentioned above, supporters of Israel would be high on the list.

Even in war time, very few Americans have been executed for treason, or related charges. Hanging Trump would be a waste of a good rope. That certainly should be reserved for those involved in war crimes, including Trump, but applied to all living presidents, if using the Nuremburg trials as a model for justice. Maybe give Carter a pass as he fixes houses for the poor these days; kind of rehabilitating his image as well as the homes.

We clearly cannot say that Putin deserves our thoughts and prayers. He oppresses his people, from gays to Chechens, is autocratic, and a member of the oligarchy that rules Russia. But he’s also smart enough to play chess with America as its leaders play checkers. On the geo-political front he certainly is beating us hands down, as the US is losing its prestige worldwide, with much thanks to Trump. Economically, he’s not even a rival as his economy is in near shatters, but rebounding now that he’s forming new alliances that the US has either abandoned or lost.

Language is important. Throwing words around like ‘enemy’ helps to create a hysteria that ultimately can end in a real war, or as Major Kong from Dr. Strangelove said, “Nuclear combat toe to toe with the Rooskies.” We damn near went to war with the French when they wouldn’t support our war against Iraq. But we ‘learned’ them a lesson! We ate Freedom Fries and felt damn good about it.