Why Are the Democrats and the Spooks Suddenly so Ferociously Anti-Putin?
During Soviet years—the 1980s-- I was labeled “an enemy of the Soviet people” in a leading Russian magazine, and it became a badge of honor. I received it because of the work I did exposing Soviet lies, repression, and subversion, and because of the support for anti-Kremlin dissidents I helped organize. So I’m familiar with Russian deceits. And everyone else’s, for that matter. It’s an integral part of diplomacy and also of intelligence services’ routine. They deceive both their friends and enemies.
So I am not the least upset when Trump’s critics assail him for being soft on the Russian dictator, nor do I doubt Russian efforts to manipulate American politics. But I am not prepared to take seriously such criticism from people who for years lambasted those of us who advocated a tougher line on the Kremlin. Nor from the likes of Representative Adam Schiff, who falsely accused General Mike Flynn of kissing up to Putin, when Flynn had called Putin “an enemy” in print.
The Helsinki summit was an effort to revive détente. No one should be surprised, since Trump and Henry Kissinger have been friends for a long time, and no doubt have often discussed the possibility of a deal with Putin, with whom Kissinger has met multiple times. Do Trump’s critics oppose an effort to revive détente? If so, they are in direct conflict with the leaders of the EU and NATO, who favor better relations with the Kremlin. If it’s wrong for Trump to try to revive détente, isn’t it equally wrong for Merkel and Mogherini to promote it?
The anti-Trump-and-Russia crusade represents a fundamental change in Democratic Party foreign policy. Roger Simon has aptly termed it a political sex change transformation, since the Democrats have long called for closer cooperation with Moscow. Indeed, during the Reagan years, Senator Ted Kennedy, the de facto head of the Democratic establishment, secretly approached Soviet dictator Yuri Andropov to take an active role in American politics. Paul Kengor tells us
According to (KGB chief) Chebrikov, Kennedy suggested a number of PR moves to help the Soviets in terms of their public image with the American public. He reportedly believed that the Soviet problem was a communication problem, resulting from an inability to counter Reagan’s (not the USSR’s) “propaganda.” If only Americans could get through Reagan’s smokescreen and hear the Soviets’ peaceful intentions.
So, there was a plan, or at least a suggested plan, to hook up Andropov and other senior apparatchiks with the American media, where they could better present their message and make their case. Specifically, the names of Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters are mentioned in the document. Also, Kennedy himself would travel to Moscow to meet with the dictator…