For five years, CNN has fed us a non-stop string of stories claiming, without — and contrary to — evidence, that President Trump was a tool of Vladimir Putin and that just about every foreign policy move by the US, from confronting North Korea to disarticulating the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force to slaughtering Russian mercenaries in Syria, was actually designed to give Russia some huge but unspecified advantage over the United States.
Now that President Trump seems destined to leave the White House later this month, CNN has openly violated their own editorial policy and decided to take a stab at telling the truth. This is CNN foreign policy wonk and noted plagiarist (yes, plagiarists can still find employment on CNN if nowhere else) Fareed Zakaria on CNN’s New Day on January 1:
“I think in general, there isn’t going to be as much difference as people imagine. The Biden folks are pretty tough on Russia, Iran, North Korea. You know, the dirty little secret about the Trump administration was that while Donald Trump had clearly had a kind of soft spot for Putin, the Trump Administration was pretty tough on the Russians. They armed Ukraine; they armed the Poles. They extended NATO operations and exercises in ways that even the Obama Administration had not done. They maintained the sanctions. So I don’t think it will be that different.”
The stupidity and/or duplicity of the US foreign policy apparatus was constantly on display in articles like this from Foreign Policy:
Despite the U.S. president’s admiring words for his Russian counterpart, his administration has held a tough line on Russia, building on his predecessor’s policies by layering on further sanctions, expelling dozens of Russian diplomats, and providing lethal weapons support to Ukraine—a step that former President Barack Obama had been unwilling to take.
The outcome has been a disjointed Russia policy, experts say. “I would not relish the job of being the America watcher in the Kremlin right now,” said Steven Pifer, a retired career diplomat who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs from 2001 to 2004.
Under Trump, the United States has had two Russia policies: what the president says and what the administration does. Former officials and Russia experts attribute this disconnect to the chaos of the transition period, the appointment of seasoned Russia hands to high-level posts, the scrutiny of the Mueller investigation into Trump’s Russia ties, and an assertive Congress, which have all checked the president’s desire for a rapprochement with Moscow.
Charitably, this thinking is nuts. At worst, it is calculated to eventually create armed conflict between the US and Russia. President Trump was simply following the lead of George Washington, who counseled that we should not have habitual enmities or alliances, and Lord Palmerston, who proclaimed that there “are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests.” Not personalizing policy conflicts with Russia created an escape valve that decreased the likelihood of military confrontation and kept open the door to Russia if it stopped acting as a rogue power. No one in DC will admit it, but Trump played a masterful game of good-cop/bad-cop with Putin in a way that no one since Reagan has been able to do.
But notice the smooth lie that Zakaria inserts in this critique: “The Biden folks are pretty tough on Russia, Iran, North Korea.”
This is utter hogwash. They can’t ever be tough on Russia because Russia has access to Hunter Biden’s Ukraine financial documents. Russia owns Biden, and we’ll see that play out in the first year of the Biden Administration as Russia will confront the US in various theaters and Joe Biden will have to choose between sending Hunter to prison or standing up for the US national interests, and we know, given Biden’s history of subordinating US policy to personal profit, how that will play out. The Biden administration will be stocked to the gills with the same geniuses who came up with the Iran nuclear deal. They might as well slather their butts with Astroglide (NTTAWWT) and join Ali Khamenei’s harem. Note, too, that Zakaria doesn’t even pretend Biden will be tough on China — he can’t be; they own him, his brother, and his dimwit git — and because China owns him, he loses all leverage with North Korea.
What you are seeing here is CNN rolling out its foreign policy narrative that will lionize every action taken by the Biden administration. Giving Iran a nuke, blowing up the Middle East peace wrought by a no-nonsense Trump strategy, letting North Korea pop nukes and shoot ICBMs willy-nilly, and giving China free rein to vacuum up US military and industrial secrets will all be portrayed as the “Biden folks” being “pretty tough.”