Brunswick Beacon, 03.17.22
Americans are rallying behind Ukraine as Putin commits war crimes against children and refugees. We see them on TV, fleeing bombed out cities and huddling in displaced person camps. Squint and you’d think it was colorized film from WWII. Admiral James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, calls it “a rocket ride back to the 1930’s.”
Putin wants to discredit democracy, see America fail, and rebuild the Russian Empire. NATO stands in his way. That’s why Putin demanded that NATO bar Ukraine from joining and remove all troops and weapons from 14 countries that joined NATO after 1997.
No American did more to weaken NATO than Trump. The only time NATO went to war was to defend America after 9/11, yet candidate Trump refused to commit to defend those same allies if Russia attacked. He suggested America could withdraw from NATO and called it “obsolete.”
That was music to Putin’s ears. So, according to U.S. Intelligence, Putin interfered in our 2016 election to help Trump win. A bipartisan senate committee chaired by N.C. Sen. Burr reviewed their determination and unanimously agreed.
President Trump treated NATO like a protection racket, falsely accusing NATO allies of owing America “massive amounts of money” and offering them American troops at “cost plus 50%.”
Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton and Chief-of-Staff John Kelly talked Trump out of withdrawing from NATO by telling him it would hurt his reelection. “Yeah, the second term,” Trump replied. It’s why Putin did not attack Ukraine before. “Putin was waiting for that,” says Bolton.
Trump’s former press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, says Trump was afraid of Putin but envied his ability “to kill whoever spoke out against him.” She says Trump would have taken a “hands off approach” to Ukraine and told Putin, “Go on in there.”
So go ahead, Trump cult. Fly your flags. Loyal Americans know what they really spell: P-U-T-I-N.
Arthur Hill Southport