You would think the mainstream media had had a collective lobotomy or is suffering from some mass version of premature Alzheimer’s disease, considering how quickly they have forgotten the red reset button with Russia, the chummy open-mic whisper from Obama to Medvedev, and the even chummier backslapping between John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov in their zeal to poleax Donald Trump for his lax attitude toward Vladimir Putin.
Was Putin less an ex-KGB agent in those not so distant Obama days, less a killer? Surely those same media geniuses are not such historical illiterates they have never heard of the KGB’s bloodthirsty antecedents — the GRU, the NKVD, and the Cheka? As we all know, or should, Russians, Soviet and otherwise, have been offing each other for a long time — well before Donald Trump came on the scene, although you wouldn’t believe that, considering the swill currently being written by our residents of digital Grub Street.
Have they actually forgotten that FDR dealt regularly with Stalin (indeed was his ally), a dictator whose despotism dwarfed Putin’s and who ended up murdering more people than Hitler? Estimates range from 30 to 60 million. Nevertheless, Franklin complimented Uncle Joe on more than one occasion over a number of years to get what the American president wanted. (Attn.: youthful New York Times reporters — in case this surprises you, you can read about it in “Caught between Roosevelt and Stalin: American Ambassadors to Moscow” by Dennis J. Dunn or, more simply, in the columns of your own monstrous Walter Duranty.)
Roosevelt and Churchill sat with Stalin at Yalta, where they cozied up to the general secretary in manners the MSM, or even the fevered swamps of the alt-left, would not dare contemplate about our current president in their most extreme moments of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Yet now even the likes of Charles Krauthammer are all in a dither about Trump’s too friendly attitude toward Bad Vlad — Donald’s supposed (actually cherry-picked and virtually non-existent) declaration of moral equivalency between us and them — as are such Republican stalwarts as Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio. How virtuous of them to remind us ignorant folk of what we have all known for years — Putin’s ugly character and behavior. How astoundingly insightful. Perhaps they will get a good mention on CNN.
Meanwhile, in the real world, America and the rest of the West have two serious problems. You could even call them crucial — Iran and ISIS. Putin can help with both. And, as both Vlad and Donald undoubtedly know, Trump has considerable leverage to get that accomplished by muscling Putin economically, if and when Donald chooses to do so.
Horrifying as ISIS is, Iran in particular is becoming increasingly dangerous every day, firing off long-range test missiles right and left that soon will be capable of hitting Europe or even, in one report, Boston. They are also undoubtedly quietly continuing their nuclear research, waiting to mate their spanking new weapons of mass destruction with a 21st century delivery system and become the hegemon of the Middle East. Obviously Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states are alarmed. Israel always has been. The rest of us should be too.
Anyone who believes or trusts in Obama’s Iran deal — clearly the biggest American foreign policy blunder in recent memory — to save us from this situation is, to be blunt, a fool. That deal is our Munich.
Iran must be reined in — and quickly. Winnowing Russia away from the Islamic Republic is a key part of the solution, though not simple. First the Revolutionary Guards have to be extricated from Syria. Putin is thought to be nervous about Iranian ambitions himself. There is opportunity here for Trump. Instead of blathering on endlessly about how he rates Putin on a scale of ten (Trump has already stated several times he doesn’t know if he can get along with him), the media should start investigating what’s really happening here geopolitically and not endlessly parse Trump’s language, looking for an opportunity to pounce. I can’t imagine anything more useless and self-destructive.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. Follow him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.