By: Lisa Hayes – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
The most common refrain from the far right regarding Trump and Russia is, “Why not?”
What’s wrong with having a friendly relationship with the other super-power on the planet? Won’t that make us safer? Isn’t Trump doing more than any other president before him to create a more peaceful future?
And on face value, if you’re a fourth-grader who hasn’t yet studied world history, that might sound logical. However, the bottom line is you can’t be friends with a dictator that isn’t friendly.
Historically, the world has witnessed the military aggression and human rights abuses at the hands of Russia under the rule of Putin and met them with horror and sanctions. While sanctions can seem like a softball approach, kind of a ceremonial slap on the wrist, they really aren’t. U.S. sanctions have cost Vladimir Putin billions of dollars personally – as in billions, with a B.
Our relationship with our traditional allies have created a geopolitical order allowing countries like Polland breath easier while sharing a border with Russia. Those relationships also make things like trade and border-free innovation much smoother. Those relationships are with allies Trump is routinely attacking in the media these days.
The company a person keeps will tell you a lot about that person. Same goes for countries. That concept is what diplomacy is built on. As a nation, you ally yourself with other countries that share your values and vision for the future.
In theory, there would be nothing wrong with having a stronger relationship with Russia. The problem with that theory is Vladimir Putin.
Here are just six of the many reasons why we do not want to play ball on his field.
1. Putin doesn’t believe in a free press and he stifles it at every opportunity.
Being a journalist is a pretty dangerous job in Russia, particularly if you aren’t working for state-sponsored media repeating state-crafted propaganda. Journalists get killed.
First order of business for a dictator is: control the people.
Two ways you do that. First, brute force and intimidation. You’re people have to know you won’t think twice about killing them.
Second, control the media.
Putin is good at both. With a President of the United States who’s driving his narrative by discrediting the media, Putin is a dangerous role model.
2. Putin’s political rivals have a tendency to disappear.
Chris Wallace recently had the balls to ask Putin the questions we wish our President had, including “Why do so many of your political enemies wind up dead?” Putin didn’t like that question. Go figure.
Russia holds elections but they one hundred percent theater. Putin finds oligarchs who are willing to run against him and lose for show. Those men are handsomely compensated in private for falling on that sword in public.
As it stands, Putin will be in charge as long as he wants to be.
3. Putin has killed more Syrian civilians than ISIS did.
Russia Has Killed More Civilians In Syria Than ISIS: Human Rights Report
It’s especially impressive that it took Russian military less than 1 year to exceed ISIS 3 year total.
But the contrast is especially stark if you compare the civilian casualties of Russian air campaign to those of the US-led bombings which resulted in 617 civilian deaths, while Russia’s total stands at a whopping 3915 innocent civilians. Especially impressive is the fact that it took Russia just 1 year to accumulate that bloody total, while the US-led coalition had been conducting their air campaign for 2 years. In fact, 42% of Russian air campaign casualties are civilians, while that number stands at under 10% for the US-led coalition
4. And there is Crimea.
The bottom line is the Russian federation levied a military offensive and annexed a significant portion of another country. Crimea was a part of Ukraine. It isn’t any longer.
As the world watched Putin rolled his army and expanded the borders of the Russian Federation. We can call it an “annex” because that sounds better than a slaughter followed by a hostile takeover.
5. Putin didn’t come from a political background. He’s former KGB and that’s a thing.
Once a spy, always a spy…
After Putin gifted Melania Trump a soccer ball at the Helsinki summit, the internet erupted with warnings that the ball might be bugged. No surprise, it was, kind of.
The reason this wasn’t an off the wall conspiracy theory crazy kind of theory is that it was a gift from Putin and that’s what Putin does. Russians have mastered spycraft. They tap phones and plant listening devices. They once wiretapped the US Embassy in Moscow and have also bugged the US State Department.
Vladimir Putin doesn’t play nice. It’s not his nature. He will take every opportunity afforded to him to gain dominance because that is his nature.
You can’t trust what he says.
You can’t trust him in your office.
You certainly can’t trust gifts he might give you.
You can’t stay in a Russian hotel and expect they aren’t recording your escapades with hookers.
6. Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on U.S. elections.
Every U.S. intelligence chief confirms it happened. To what extent we still do not know.
Every U.S. intelligence chief also confirms it’s STILL happening.
This should be an act of war. Unless of course, you’ve compromised a sitting U.S. President and half of the Republican party in office.
More by Lisa:
Lisa M. Hayes, Senior Editor of Confluence Daily.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.