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Russia needs a new script.

April 16, 2018

In his U.N. speech, Russian ambassador Nebenzya seems to have gone to the archives for some of his talking points.

Neo-colonialism? Imperialistic? How very 1960’s.

You could close your eyes and imagine watching him on a black-and-white Philco, and everything he said sounded like Nikita Krushchev or his predecessors. He did however keep his shoes on.

Congress on the other hand, sounded very 2018.

Nancy Pelosi, who has not been shy about calling the President a bully and a loose cannon over his dealings with North Korea, not to mention a Russian operative, now says he “needs to tell Congress his strategy.”

Right.  Why not just send it to the NYT first hand? It would save Ms. Pelosi the trouble of finding someone who would leak it.

At this point, Congress has no one but itself to blame if the President doesn’t find it necessary to get their blessing every time he sneezes. Apparently his “strategy” was good enough for France and Britain.

First of all, Congress had a chance when President Obama was in office to create a new AUMF. They did not do so, because they don’t appear to want the responsibility.

Second, no “strategy” Trump would come up with would ever be approved.

Some of the President’s most conservative base is upset that he seems to be reneging on his promise not to nation-build.

Nothing that happened over the weekend suggests that he is nation-building. He can still pull our military out of Syria, or restrict the troops already there to catching and killing any ISIS members they find.

It is worth noting that if the U.N. and NATO had acted to enforce the WWI era-restrictions on chemical warfare the President’s action wouldn’t have been needed.

Having said that, there is some validity to concerns that he may be being forced by events to keep the military in places where they are clearly not changing much of anything. Case in point, Afghanistan, where Bush’s goal was clearly to install a democratic government.

In some ways he is exactly where Lyndon Johnson was when he inherited Viet Nam from Kennedy.

Johnson desperately wanted to get out, but the meme of that time was that we had to stay because it would protect us from Communism taking over the world. Damned if he pulled out, damned if he didn’t.

Perhaps with that historical hindsight, Trump can find a way pull it off.

For instance, we might be better off to fashion our military response to threats that directly affect us more like a SWAT team. Identify the bad guys, go in and eliminate them quickly and completely, but then get out unless the country itself attacks us.

Yes, that’s whack-a-mole, but then we humans have never managed to make moles extinct either. That doesn’t mean we don’t still try to eliminate them from our property.

It would also give us time to rebuild our military so we could fight a real war when it becomes necessary.

In the meantime, Russia is doing what Russia does.  This is the Cold War of the 1970’s and ’80s all over again.

The only difference between then and now is that in the 1970’s Americans knew which side they were on.  Today, not so much.

From → op-ed

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